THE QUANGLE WANGLE’S HAT

Lear’s rhymed introduction to a lonely treetop creature who gladly allows a menagerie of birds, plus such less familiar creatures as the Dong and the Pobble, to perch on his oversized hat exerts its accustomed magic: “And at night by the light of the Mulberry moon / They danced to the Flute of the Blue Baboon, / On the broad green leaves of the Crumpetty Tree, / And all were as happy as happy could be….” In color-drenched cartoons, Voce depicts the Quangle Wangle Quee as a koala, face nearly hidden beneath a huge, floppy hat decked with lace and ribbons, who presides over a swelling troop of smiling, pop-eyed guests. The first separate rendition of the rhyme since Janet Stevens’s 1988 edition, this makes a smile-inducing companion to Voce’s version of The Owl and the Pussycat (1991). (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-7636-1289-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2004

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HONEY, I LOVE

Iffy art cramps this 25th-anniversary reissue of the joyful title poem from Greenfield’s first collection (1978), illustrated by the Dillons. As timeless as ever, the poem celebrates everything a child loves, from kissing Mama’s warm, soft arm to listening to a cousin from the South, “ ’cause every word he says / just kind of slides out of his mouth.” “I love a lot of things / a whole lot of things,” the narrator concludes, “And honey, / I love ME, too.” The African-American child in the pictures sports an updated hairstyle and a big, infectious grin—but even younger viewers will notice that the spray of cool water that supposedly “stings my stomach” isn’t aimed there, and that a comforter on the child’s bed changes patterns between pages. More problematic, though, is a dropped doll that suddenly acquires a horrified expression that makes it look disturbingly like a live baby, and the cutesy winged fairy that hovers over the sleeping child in the final scene. The poem deserves better. (Picture book/poetry. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2003

ISBN: 0-06-009123-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Amistad/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2002

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  • SPONSORED PLACEMENT

The rare immigrant chronicle that is as long on hope as it is on heartbreak.

INFINITE COUNTRY

A 15-year-old girl in Colombia, doing time in a remote detention center, orchestrates a jail break and tries to get home.

"People say drugs and alcohol are the greatest and most persuasive narcotics—the elements most likely to ruin a life. They're wrong. It's love." As the U.S. recovers from the repeal of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, from the misery of separations on the border, from both the idea and the reality of a wall around the United States, Engel's vital story of a divided Colombian family is a book we need to read. Weaving Andean myth and natural symbolism into her narrative—condors signify mating for life, jaguars revenge; the embattled Colombians are "a singed species of birds without feathers who can still fly"; children born in one country and raised in another are "repotted flowers, creatures forced to live in the wrong habitat"—she follows Talia, the youngest child, on a complex journey. Having committed a violent crime not long before she was scheduled to leave her father in Bogotá to join her mother and siblings in New Jersey, she winds up in a horrible Catholic juvie from which she must escape in order to make her plane. Hence the book's wonderful first sentence: "It was her idea to tie up the nun." Talia's cross-country journey is interwoven with the story of her parents' early romance, their migration to the United States, her father's deportation, her grandmother's death, the struggle to reunite. In the latter third of the book, surprising narrative shifts are made to include the voices of Talia's siblings, raised in the U.S. This provides interesting new perspectives, but it is a little awkward to break the fourth wall so late in the book. Attention, TV and movie people: This story is made for the screen.

The rare immigrant chronicle that is as long on hope as it is on heartbreak.

Pub Date: March 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-982159-46-7

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Avid Reader Press

Review Posted Online: Dec. 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2021

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TRACES

What leaves bubbles of water and air on a lily pond? What leaves a path across the sand to the sea? What leaves shadows on the ground? The “wattled” and “warty” bullfrog creates bubbles on the lily pond. The turtle drags its way across the sand to the sea. Children playing follow the leader cast shadows on the ground. These questions and more are raised and answered in this quiet exploration of the traces different creatures and things leave as they pass on their way. The fox leaves its trace in a wooded glade. The snake leaves its trace in the tall wild grass. A jet airplane leaves its own trace across the sky. Even prehistoric dinosaurs and the wind leave unique marks on nature. Kuskin’s watercolor-and-collage illustrations brilliantly follow bubbles, tails, footprints and shadows across double-page spreads tracking clues left by the not-quite invisible passage of someone or something. A fascinating look at an overlooked part of nature. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-1-932425-43-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Front Street/Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2008

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