Anyone who's ever driven across town for the perfect taco will understand the allure of the world's most entertaining...

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THE RUNAWAY TORTILLA

Perfection can be dangerous, as restaurateurs Tía Lupe and Tío José discover when one of their delicious tortillas comes to life and runs away.

The handmade tortillas, "light as a cloud and as soft as the fuzz on a baby's cheek," are so gravity-defying that one takes off, pursued at first by the couple, and then by a parade of conejos (rabbits), sapos cornudos (lizards), vaqueros (cowboys), and other locals. The story should sound familiar; it's a Spanish-sprinkled update of “The Gingerbread Man.” This tortilla tale is a revamp of Kimmel’s out-of-print 2000 book of the same name, illustrated by Randy Cecil, featuring winning new art and more Spanish but with that unsparing original ending. (Let's just say things do not end well when the troublemaking tortilla encounters a fox.) The text is energetic, and the baked-in Spanish avoids feeling dumbed down; it's placed so well in context that non–Spanish-speaking readers won't feel lost. The illustrations evocatively convey the cacti, sand-beached rubble, and reptilian fauna of the Southwest as well as the crispy-masa body of the tortilla herself. Her singsong-y taunt is catchy: "Run as fast as fast can be. / You won't get a bite of me. / Doesn't matter what you do. / I'll be far ahead of you!"

Anyone who's ever driven across town for the perfect taco will understand the allure of the world's most entertaining tortilla. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-941821-69-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: WestWinds Press

Review Posted Online: June 10, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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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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An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way.

NOAH CHASES THE WIND

A young boy sees things a little differently than others.

Noah can see patterns in the dust when it sparkles in the sunlight. And if he puts his nose to the ground, he can smell the “green tang of the ants in the grass.” His most favorite thing of all, however, is to read. Noah has endless curiosity about how and why things work. Books open the door to those answers. But there is one question the books do not explain. When the wind comes whistling by, where does it go? Noah decides to find out. In a chase that has a slight element of danger—wind, after all, is unpredictable—Noah runs down streets, across bridges, near a highway, until the wind lifts him off his feet. Cowman’s gusty wisps show each stream of air turning a different jewel tone, swirling all around. The ribbons gently bring Noah home, setting him down under the same thinking tree where he began. Did it really happen? Worthington’s sensitive exploration leaves readers with their own set of questions and perhaps gratitude for all types of perspective. An author’s note mentions children on the autism spectrum but widens to include all who feel a little different.

An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-60554-356-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Redleaf Lane

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

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