Gourmands, armchair or otherwise, with strong stomachs will smack their lips.

BEAST FEAST

A child captured by a hungry monster turns out to have some unusual ideas about preparing dinner.

Though the concept is not altogether new, this trickster tale has some special features of its own to offer—most particularly a set of outstandingly gross recipes like “Eyeball Sushi” and “Cockroach Cola” (“1. Pop the cockroaches in your mouth and crunch until blended. 2. Spit”) that give way at the end to dishes that sound revolting but have edible, even delicious, ingredients. With Sir Gutguzzler and other monstrous friends all sending formal RSVPs, each missive a glued-in, folded feature for little fingers to tease apart, Beast is looking forward to a memorable repast. But “Dinner,” a small child with light brown skin and an engaging mop of reddish curls, keeps suggesting improvements. Instead of fattening Dinner up with “putrid swill,” how about some chocolate cake? Rather than adding just a sprinkle of salt and a bare dip into a tub of slime, why not enjoy delightful outings to the sea and the local swamp? Soon Beast is thinking that Dinner doesn’t look like dinner any more…and Beast isn’t looking so beastly to the child, either. But what to feed the guests? Maybe “Chocolate Fingers” without actual fingers? The monsters all have a wonderful dinner. And Dinner does too.

Gourmands, armchair or otherwise, with strong stomachs will smack their lips. (Novelty picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68464-005-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kane Miller

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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THE GIRL WHO LOVED WILD HORSES

            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 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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