Children may get a giggle or two but may find the lackluster ending unsatisfying.

READ REVIEW

THE GREAT FAIRY TALE DISASTER

Old Big Bad Wolf is tired and wants a more relaxing fairy tale to be in, so he leaves the pigs behind. The results are not good.

The players are familiar if their young audience knows the classic tales: Cinderella, Jack and his beanstalk, Sleeping Beauty, Goldilocks. The execution is clunky. The Big Bad Wolf blows off Cinderella’s fairy godmother because “Wolves don’t wear dresses!” and is revolted by the prince’s kiss when he replaces Sleeping Beauty. The Three Bears are entirely pissed off, and they chase the Big Bad Wolf past Rapunzel and over the troll’s bridge. All heck breaks loose then, as a princess kisses a Billy Goat Gruff instead of a frog, and Hansel and Gretel push Prince Charming into the oven. The Wolf gives up, goes back to the Three Little Pigs, the end. Williamson’s art is made in layered swathes of geometric pattern and color. Figures have huge heads and spindly arms and legs. The Big Bad Wolf himself is constructed with arms, legs and tail on an oversized body, his unusual head a long isosceles triangle set in many different pasted-on angles. Visual interest is heightened in tiny details: Baby Bear wears polka-dot headphones, the Big Bad Wolf himself wears a monocle that mostly tumbles out of his pocket.

Children may get a giggle or two but may find the lackluster ending unsatisfying. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-58925-111-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: July 18, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2012

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A culturally intricate slice of a lupine courier’s life.

¡VAMOS! LET'S GO TO THE MARKET

From the ¡Vamos! series

Little Lobo and his dog, Bernabé, journey through a Mexican mercado delivering diverse goods to a variety of booths.

With the aid of red words splattered throughout the spreads as labels, Raúl the Third gives an introduction to Spanish vocabulary as Little Lobo, an anthropomorphic wolf, leaves his house, fills his cart with objects from his warehouse, and delivers them to the market’s vendors. The journey also serves as a crash course in Mexican culture, as the images are packed with intertextual details such as food, traditional games, and characters, including Cantinflas, Frida Khalo, and Juan Gabriel. Readers acquainted with Raúl the Third’s characters from his Lowriders series with author Cathy Camper will appreciate cameos from familiar characters. As he makes his rounds, Little Lobo also collects different artifacts that people offer in exchange for his deliveries of shoe polish, clothespins, wood, tissue paper, paintbrushes, and a pair of golden laces. Although Raúl the Third departs from the ball-pen illustrations that he is known for, his depiction of creatures and critters peppering the borderland where his stories are set remains in his trademark style. The softer hues in the illustrations (chosen by colorist Bay) keep the busy compositions friendly, and the halftone patterns filling the illustrations create foregrounds and backgrounds reminiscent of Roy Lichtenstein’s pointillism.

A culturally intricate slice of a lupine courier’s life. (glossary) (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-55726-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Versify/HMH

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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RAIN SCHOOL

It takes a village to make a school. In Chad, big brothers and sisters lead the way for younger children on the first day of school. Little Thomas is full of questions. When he and the other children arrive, there are no classrooms and no desks. But the teacher's there, holding a trowel. "We will build our school," she declares. Everyone sets to work, making mud bricks that dry in the sun and a roof out of grass and saplings. Thomas loves his lessons; every day he learns something new. At the end of the school year, the minds of the students "are fat with knowledge." And just in time: The rainy season arrives and makes short work of the schoolhouse. Come September, they'll start all over. Rumford's illustrations make great use of color, dark brown skin and bright shirts, shorts and dresses against golden backgrounds, the hues applied in smudgy layers that infuse each scene with warmth—until the gray rains arrive. It's a nifty social-studies lesson tucked into a warm tale of community. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-547-24307-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: Oct. 1, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2010

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