MINNIE AND MOO AND THE POTATO FROM PLANET X

Cazet’s cows are back (Minnie and Moo Meet Frankenswine, 2001, etc.), charming as ever, in an easy reader that is as loopy as ever. Minnie and Moo are soaking in the summer sun when a spaceship plows into the adjacent field. At first they think it might be a new type of tractor, but then the pilot, a one-eyed potato with green bristles whose name is Spud, pops out. Spud tells them the alarming news that he is in the process—after stopping for donuts and then getting lost—of delivering some anti-bump cream to prevent the planets from bumping themselves to bits. Now he needs to repair his spaceship and secure some space fuel. Repairing the rocket is no sweat—Minnie and Moo let Spud cannibalize their farm tractor for parts; they know it has the necessaries because they took the tractor to the Moon on a previous adventure. But the space fuel, that’s a tickler, until Minnie has a brainstorm: Could Milk be space fuel? Yes, cries Spud, though it must have high-cream content. Minnie’s the cow to deliver just such, which she does, demurely, as a barnyard chorus warbles “Home, Home on the Range.” Spud blasts off and all is right in a bump-free solar system. Weird in all the right ways, from the strange little verbal asides to Minnie’s mop of blond curls. Another mooover from Cazet. (Easy reader. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 2002

ISBN: 0-06-623750-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2002

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An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some...

RALPH TELLS A STORY

With a little help from his audience, a young storyteller gets over a solid case of writer’s block in this engaging debut.

Despite the (sometimes creatively spelled) examples produced by all his classmates and the teacher’s assertion that “Stories are everywhere!” Ralph can’t get past putting his name at the top of his paper. One day, lying under the desk in despair, he remembers finding an inchworm in the park. That’s all he has, though, until his classmates’ questions—“Did it feel squishy?” “Did your mom let you keep it?” “Did you name it?”—open the floodgates for a rousing yarn featuring an interloping toddler, a broad comic turn and a dramatic rescue. Hanlon illustrates the episode with childlike scenes done in transparent colors, featuring friendly-looking children with big smiles and widely spaced button eyes. The narrative text is printed in standard type, but the children’s dialogue is rendered in hand-lettered printing within speech balloons. The episode is enhanced with a page of elementary writing tips and the tantalizing titles of his many subsequent stories (“When I Ate Too Much Spaghetti,” “The Scariest Hamster,” “When the Librarian Yelled Really Loud at Me,” etc.) on the back endpapers.

An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some budding young writers off and running. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2012

ISBN: 978-0761461807

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Amazon Children's Publishing

Review Posted Online: Aug. 22, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2012

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The book is perfect for read-alouds, with occasional, often onomatopoeic Spanish words such as “quiquiriquí,” “tacatac” and...

WAITING FOR THE BIBLIOBURRO

Inspired by Colombian librarian Luis Soriano Bohórquez, Brown’s latest tells of a little girl whose wish comes true when a librarian and two book-laden burros visit her remote village.

Ana loves to read and spends all of her free time either reading alone or to her younger brother. She knows every word of the one book she owns. Although she uses her imagination to create fantastical bedtime tales for her brother, she really wants new books to read. Everything changes when a traveling librarian and his two donkeys, Alfa and Beto, arrive in the village. Besides loaning books to the children until his next visit, the unnamed man also reads them stories and teaches the younger children the alphabet. When Ana suggests that someone write a book about the traveling library, he encourages her to complete this task herself. After she reads her library books, Ana writes her own story for the librarian and gives it to him upon his reappearance—and he makes it part of his biblioburro collection. Parra’s colorful folk-style illustrations of acrylics on board bring Ana’s real and imaginary worlds to life. This is a child-centered complement to Jeanette Winter’s Biblioburro (2010), which focuses on Soriano.

The book is perfect for read-alouds, with occasional, often onomatopoeic Spanish words such as “quiquiriquí,” “tacatac” and “iii-aah” adding to the fun.   (author’s note, glossary of Spanish terms) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: July 12, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-58246-353-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tricycle

Review Posted Online: June 6, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2011

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