Next book

WILLOW

In dictatorial Miss Hawthorn’s cheerless art room, students sit “in their rows, silent and still, like eggs in a carton” producing cookie-cutter busywork. “Everyone except Willow.” Miss Hawthorn does not appreciate Willow’s sweet nature or her inventive, colorful outlook on life. Willow is always in trouble with her wizened teacher, especially “for not painting things the way Miss Hawthorn wanted her to.” When she tries to share her artistic excitement via a well-loved art book full of flamingo-pink trees, blue apples and other works of wonder, Miss Hawthorn rebuffs her. “Horrid little girl.” But stony Miss Hawthorn is transformed by a holiday gift—the only one she receives—of that treasured art book, and when her students return after the holidays, they find a very different teacher, indeed. Motivational speaker Brennan-Nelson’s message hits its mark, and Moore’s energetic watercolors fairly vibrate—Willow would approve! Pair this with Peter Reynolds’s The Dot (2003) and Paul Zelinsky’s Doodler Doodling (2004) for an outside-the-lines art experience. (Picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: May 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-1-58536-342-1

Page Count: 30

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2008

Next book

GOONEY BIRD GREENE

Gooney Bird Greene (with a silent E) is not your average second grader. She arrives in Mrs. Pidgeon’s class announcing: “I’m your new student and I just moved here from China. I want a desk right smack in the middle of the room, because I like to be right smack in the middle of everything.” Everything about her is unusual and mysterious—her clothes, hairstyles, even her lunches. Since the second graders have never met anyone like Gooney Bird, they want to hear more about her. Mrs. Pidgeon has been talking to the class about what makes a good story, so it stands to reason that Gooney will get her chance. She tells a series of stories that explain her name, how she came from China on a flying carpet, how she got diamond earrings at the prince’s palace, and why she was late for school (because she was directing a symphony orchestra). And her stories are “absolutely true.” Actually, they are explainable and mesh precisely with the teacher’s lesson, more important, they are a clever device that exemplify the elements of good storytelling and writing and also demonstrate how everyone can turn everyday events into stories. Savvy teachers should take note and add this to their shelf of “how a story is made” titles. Gooney Bird’s stories are printed in larger type than the narrative and the black-and-white drawings add the right touch of sauciness (only the cover is in color). A hybrid of Harriet, Blossom, and Anastasia, irrepressible Gooney Bird is that rare bird in children’s fiction: one that instantly becomes an amusing and popular favorite. (Fiction. 6-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2002

ISBN: 0-618-23848-4

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Walter Lorraine/Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2002

Next book

WILD, WILD WOLVES

At ``Step 2'' in the useful ``Step into Reading'' series: an admirably clear, well-balanced presentation that centers on wolves' habits and pack structure. Milton also addresses their endangered status, as well as their place in fantasy, folklore, and the popular imagination. Attractive realistic watercolors on almost every page. Top-notch: concise, but remarkably extensive in its coverage. A real bargain. (Nonfiction/Easy reader. 6-10)

Pub Date: April 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-679-91052-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1992

Close Quickview