A charming adventure and excellent read-aloud tale—delightful.

READ REVIEW

BEEP! BEEP! SPECIAL DELIVERY

In this picture book, a creative little boy rides his truck, overcoming all obstacles to deliver an important letter.

Boarding his red toy truck with a determined expression, a boy with pale skin and brown curly hair clutches a letter. “Beep! Beep! Hurry! Clear the way! / I have a special job today,” he announces. Through many incidents (a bad traffic jam, a shortcut through the zoo, a broken bridge, a jungle with snakes and an alligator, gloppy mud), the boy and his truck prevail. The vehicle turns into a little red airplane or a boat or sprouts a plow to get through the mud. On every spread, a little brown monkey can be spied who, unknown to the hero, watches him carefully and often helps save the significant letter—a sweet love note to Mom. Ferreri (Huggle Wuggle, Bedtime Snuggle, 2019, etc.) gives readers a well-balanced mix of inventive escapades with the welcome reassurance of returning home to a warm cuddle. The story is told in rhyming, well-scanning couplets, compressed and powerful, often with effective sound effects: “Ka-splish, ker-splash”; “Glub glub, vroom vroom.” The expressive illustrations by McEachen (Plugged In, 2009) expand the tale with thoughtful details; for example, the monkey gives the boy a 10 for sticking the final landing. In a lovely touch, the boy’s backyard play area includes all the elements from his journey of the imagination, such as a sand mountain, toy alligator, plow truck, and airplane.

A charming adventure and excellent read-aloud tale—delightful.

Pub Date: April 9, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-946101-96-9

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Spork

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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CINDERELLA

This companion piece to the other fairy tales Marcia Brown has interpreted (see Puss In Boots, 1952, p. 548 and others) has the smoothness of a good translation and a unique charm to her feathery light pictures. The pictures have been done in sunset colors and the spreads on each page as they illustrate the story have the cumulative effect of soft cloud banks. Gentle.

Pub Date: June 15, 1954

ISBN: 0684126761

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1954

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Ordinary kids in an extraordinary setting: still a recipe for bright achievements and belly laughs.

WAYSIDE SCHOOL BENEATH THE CLOUD OF DOOM

Rejoice! 25 years later, Wayside School is still in session, and the children in Mrs. Jewls’ 30th-floor classroom haven’t changed a bit.

The surreal yet oddly educational nature of their misadventures hasn’t either. There are out-and-out rib ticklers, such as a spelling lesson featuring made-up words and a determined class effort to collect 1 million nail clippings. Additionally, mean queen Kathy steps through a mirror that turns her weirdly nice and she discovers that she likes it, a four-way friendship survives a dumpster dive after lost homework, and Mrs. Jewls makes sure that a long-threatened “Ultimate Test” allows every student to show off a special talent. Episodic though the 30 new chapters are, there are continuing elements that bind them—even to previous outings, such as the note to an elusive teacher Calvin has been carrying since Sideways Stories From Wayside School (1978) and finally delivers. Add to that plenty of deadpan dialogue (“Arithmetic makes my brain numb,” complains Dameon. “That’s why they’re called ‘numb-ers,’ ” explains D.J.) and a wild storm from the titular cloud that shuffles the school’s contents “like a deck of cards,” and Sachar once again dishes up a confection as scrambled and delicious as lunch lady Miss Mush’s improvised “Rainbow Stew.” Diversity is primarily conveyed in the illustrations.

Ordinary kids in an extraordinary setting: still a recipe for bright achievements and belly laughs. (Fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-296538-7

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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