RAINBOW BIRD

AN ABORIGINAL FOLKTALE FROM NORTHERN AUSTRALIA

From the adapter of The Fire Children (p. 788), a tale that explains how man came to possess fire. A drab but determined parrot snatches a firestick from Crocodile Man, its sole owner, while he's sleeping; the magnanimous bird flies ``around the country putting Fire into the heart of every tree'' so that people can make fire from dry wood. In the process, she becomes rainbow-colored, as she is today. A simple story, tightly told, and best read aloud to savor its sounds and rhythms. As in Hadithi's Baby Baboon (p. 661), Kennaway's paintings are brilliantly colored, dramatic, large, and clear—ideal for use with groups. Close inspection is rewarding, too, revealing termite mounds in the bare red soil and little green ants busy in the branches of a tree. There hasn't been a scarier crocodile since the one that ate Captain Hook. (Folklore/Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-316-54314-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1993

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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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JAMIE O'ROURKE AND THE BIG POTATO

AN IRISH FOLKTALE

Lazy Jamie O'Rourke doesn't lift a finger, even after his wife hurts her hack digging the "praties" they depend on; but he does catch a leprechaun, who gives him a seed that grows into a potato so large that it takes the combined efforts of the village to dig it and, subsequently, to eat it—"until no one wanted to see or hear of potato again." DePaola's "Note About the Story" tells more of his own family history than of "the short tale that inspired" this one, which is totally unsourced; presumably, it predates the tragedy of the Potato Famine. Anyway, as retold here, it makes a cheery picture book, with the artist using the lighter, brighter side of his palette and including some affectionate caricatures of the Irish in his decorative illustrations. Attractive and amusing. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 20, 1992

ISBN: 0-399-22257-X

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 1991

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