A very loving book, a tribute really, to the teachers of the world and beyond them to all people who nurture children. “At the end of the summer, Mr. Merrick, the principal, walks down the hall to Mrs. Spitzer’s room and gives her a packet of seeds.” The end of summer? wonders the alert reader. Well yes, for this is a metaphorical garden, and as Mrs. Spitzer plants, water, weeds, and tends each seedling, she delights in their individuality: tall and thin, bushy and wide-spreading, quick to grow or slow, showy or reticent. Tusa picks up the metaphor with characteristic ingenuity and charm, depicting a gray-haired but young-looking woman, comfortably dressed, leaving a well-stocked kindergarten classroom to tend a swelling garden of flowers and vegetables, each sporting eyes, a smiling mouth, and a look of eager interest. Ultimately the season comes to a close, but the plants keep on growing, now beyond the care of Mrs. Spitzer. Pattou’s language is simple but artful, keeping mawkishness at bay, while conveying a deep appreciation of the fine art of teaching. Lucky the reader, of any age, who had a Mrs. Spitzer. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: April 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-15-201978-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2001

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            There are many parallel legends – the seal women, for example, with their strange sad longings – but none is more direct than this American Indian story of a girl who is carried away in a horses’ stampede…to ride thenceforth by the side of a beautiful stallion who leads the wild horses.  The girl had always loved horses, and seemed to understand them “in a special way”; a year after her disappearance her people find her riding beside the stallion, calf in tow, and take her home despite his strong resistance.  But she is unhappy and returns to the stallion; after that, a beautiful mare is seen riding always beside him.  Goble tells the story soberly, allowing it to settle, to find its own level.  The illustrations are in the familiar striking Goble style, but softened out here and there with masses of flowers and foliage – suitable perhaps for the switch in subject matter from war to love, but we miss the spanking clean design of Custer’s Last Battle and The Fetterman Fight.          6-7

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1978

ISBN: 0689845049

Page Count: -

Publisher: Bradbury

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1978

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An impending school visit by a celebrity chef sends budding cook Ollie into a tailspin. He and his classmates are supposed to bring a favorite family food for show and tell, but his family doesn’t have a clear choice—besides, his little sister Rosy doesn’t like much of anything. What to do? As in their previous two visits to Room 75, Kenah builds suspense while keeping the tone light, and Carter adds both bright notes of color and familiar home and school settings in her cartoon illustrations. Eventually, Ollie winkles favorite ingredients out of his clan, which he combines into a mac-and-cheese casserole with a face on top that draws delighted praise from the class’s renowned guest. As Ollie seems to do his kitchen work without parental assistance, a cautionary tip or two (and maybe a recipe) might not have gone amiss here, but the episode’s mouthwatering climax and resolution will guarantee smiles of contentment all around. (Easy reader. 6-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-06-053561-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2007

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