MINNIE AND MOO AND THE HAUNTED SWEATER

Since she’s on a diet and only going to chow 11 of the dozen cream puffs in the box, Minnie—Cazet’s blond-shocked bovine—is going to give one to the farmer because it’s his birthday. To surprise him, she is going to hide it under his pillow. Moo—also bovine, but a tad less crazily impetuous than Minnie—is inspired to knit the farmer a sweater after a collision between a flock of sheep and a detachment of chickens carrying Elvis, the imperious rooster, in a sedan chair. The heap of sheep is stuck atop Elvis, and only knitting their wool away will uncover the fowl muckamuck. Working fast, Moo inadvertently, and unknowingly, knits Elvis into the sweater. The lumpy sweater squawks, sneezes, crawls about and even takes brief flight. Clearly, a haunted sweater. Cazet is up to his old but evergreen tricks in this latest Minnie and Moo debacle, fashioning a story of high entertainment value—dwelling in a world of supreme lunacy, yet with an agreeable dryness running through it—to keep a bunch of young noses stuck in the pleasure of a book, inhaling the words. What becomes of Elvis? Well, a rolling pin is involved. There is, after all, a weird bulge in the sweater. (Easy reader. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-06-073016-1

Page Count: 48

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2007

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A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift.

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BECAUSE I HAD A TEACHER

A paean to teachers and their surrogates everywhere.

This gentle ode to a teacher’s skill at inspiring, encouraging, and being a role model is spoken, presumably, from a child’s viewpoint. However, the voice could equally be that of an adult, because who can’t look back upon teachers or other early mentors who gave of themselves and offered their pupils so much? Indeed, some of the self-aware, self-assured expressions herein seem perhaps more realistic as uttered from one who’s already grown. Alternatively, readers won’t fail to note that this small book, illustrated with gentle soy-ink drawings and featuring an adult-child bear duo engaged in various sedentary and lively pursuits, could just as easily be about human parent- (or grandparent-) child pairs: some of the softly colored illustrations depict scenarios that are more likely to occur within a home and/or other family-oriented setting. Makes sense: aren’t parents and other close family members children’s first teachers? This duality suggests that the book might be best shared one-on-one between a nostalgic adult and a child who’s developed some self-confidence, having learned a thing or two from a parent, grandparent, older relative, or classroom instructor.

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943200-08-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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LAST DAY BLUES

From the Mrs. Hartwell's Classroom Adventures series

One more myth dispelled for all the students who believe that their teachers live in their classrooms. During the last week of school, Mrs. Hartwell and her students reflect on the things they will miss, while also looking forward to the fun that summer will bring. The kids want to cheer up their teacher, whom they imagine will be crying over lesson plans and missing them all summer long. But what gift will cheer her up? Numerous ideas are rejected, until Eddie comes up with the perfect plan. They all cooperate to create a rhyming ode to the school year and their teacher. Love’s renderings of the children are realistic, portraying the diversity of modern-day classrooms, from dress and expression to gender and skin color. She perfectly captures the emotional trauma the students imagine their teachers will go through as they leave for the summer. Her final illustration hysterically shatters that myth, and will have every teacher cheering aloud. What a perfect end to the school year. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2006

ISBN: 1-58089-046-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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