THE TRAVELING MEN OF BALLYCOO

The title and the cover, with the three unglamorous traveling men jigging and waving merrily in a meadow, tell you what to expect from Bunting's brogue-laden tale of the three musicians—Cathal wailing out "The Hunt" on a penny whistle, Sean "bent near in two" over his fiddle, and Young Jimmy playing the melodeon—who travel about, calling all Ireland home, and never stop to marry. "Didn't they have all they needed in each other, with their music to share and a royal welcome wherever they went?" But the years go by without a notice and finally, when even Young Jimmy is close to 70, the three retire to their cottage in Ballycoo, settling in well and playing their music at night. "But there was something wanting"—and no sooner does Cathal recognize what they need—an audience to share the music—than up goes a welcome sign on the door that draws all the neighbors in for a nightly party at home. And "Don't we still go places every night of our lives," asks Cathal, referring to the illusions conjured up by their music. Fair enough, and sufficiently well turned, with Zemach's dancing, gesturing figures and floating musical notes sustaining the lilt—but there's a bit of a tired, machine-made air to the story, and the pictures too seem simply to be supplying what's called for.

Pub Date: April 29, 1983

ISBN: 0153329785

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich

Review Posted Online: April 17, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1983

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A delectable bilingual experience.

¡VAMOS! LET'S GO EAT

From the ¡Vamos! series

Little Lobo is tasked with nourishing nine famished luchadores.

Following ¡Vamos! Let’s Go to the Market (2019), author/illustrator Raúl the Third and colorist Bay create a second installment in their bilingual series, ¡Vamos!, here following Little Lobo’s journey as he provides sustenance to hungry lucha libre stars. The cheerfully energetic anthropomorphic wolf reprises his role as a bike courier when he receives a message from El Toro and makes his way to el Coliseo, winding and weaving through busy streets. A mouthwatering experience follows as Little Lobo—accompanied by dog Bernabé and rooster pal Kooky Dooky—picks up tacos, diced fruit, freshly made tortillas, flan, and buñuelos from a gathering of food trucks. As in his other work, Raúl the Third imbues his pages with real-world and pop-culture references. An homage to Picasso’s Guernica, recognizable Ciudad Juárez–El Paso landmarks, a Chavo del Ocho inside a barrel, and even a Chapulín Colorado marionette all make the cut. Readers ignorant of these specifics will not feel left out: The busy pages filled with interesting characters and intriguing bilingual signage make readers wish they could jump into the pages and experience the bustling town. Bay’s comic book–style coloring and creative textures provide a deep cultural exposure to the lavish array of Mexican food throughout the spreads. After enjoying the story, readers will keep going back to savor all the minuscule details.

A delectable bilingual experience. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 24, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-328-55704-9

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Versify/HMH

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS

With the same delightfully irreverent spirit that he brought to his retelling of "Little Red Riding Hood" (1987), Marshall enlivens another favorite. Although completely retold with his usual pungent wit and contemporary touches ("I don't mind if I do," says Goldilocks, as she tries out porridge, chair, and bed), Marshall retains the stories well-loved pattern, including Goldilocks escaping through the window (whereupon Baby Bear inquires, "Who was that little girl?"). The illustrations are fraught with delicious humor and detail: books that are stacked everywhere around the rather cluttered house, including some used in lieu of a missing leg for Papa Bear's chair; comically exaggerated beds—much too high at the head and the foot; and Baby Bear's wonderfully messy room, which certainly brings the story into the 20th century. Like its predecessor, perfect for several uses, from picture-book hour to beginning reading.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1988

ISBN: 0140563660

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1988

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