THE WAITING GAME

A 46-page, short-story-scope record of the day Los Angeles high-school football player Luther spends waiting for an offer from Ohio State. Luther and his two friends Griff and Dan, all seniors, are the Chalmers High stars known as "the three from C." Dan, who is deaf, will be playing for Queens, the local junior college, but the other two are holding out for the big time. The St. Francis star, they hear, got a Buckeye offer by phone yesterday; and now, arriving home from school, Griff gets one in the mail. Luther is out when his phone call comes that night, and everyone has heard about it before the coach calls back next day. . . to explain personally that Luther is just too small for the Buckeyes. Embarrassed, Luther lets people think he's turned down Ohio State to support Dan at Queens (at Chalmers, Luther has tapped out the signals to him)—but he owns up when that embarrasses Dan. Later, though, when a full-tuition offer comes from San Diego State ("semi-big time college ball"), Luther tears up the letter. "It had nothing to do with big old Dan, Luther told himself. Nothing whatever," are the story's final words. Except for the "hecks" and "shoots" which make Luther seem pretty square, the brevity and situational suspense might suit this as a hi-lo entry. However, the two-bit characterization doesn't prepare readers to accept that final goody-goody decision.

Pub Date: March 1, 1981

ISBN: 039731941X

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Lippincott

Review Posted Online: April 17, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1981

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A validating and breathtaking next chapter of a Mother Goose favorite.

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AFTER THE FALL (HOW HUMPTY DUMPTY GOT BACK UP AGAIN)

Humpty Dumpty, classically portrayed as an egg, recounts what happened after he fell off the wall in Santat’s latest.

An avid ornithophile, Humpty had loved being atop a high wall to be close to the birds, but after his fall and reassembly by the king’s men, high places—even his lofted bed—become intolerable. As he puts it, “There were some parts that couldn’t be healed with bandages and glue.” Although fear bars Humpty from many of his passions, it is the birds he misses the most, and he painstakingly builds (after several papercut-punctuated attempts) a beautiful paper plane to fly among them. But when the plane lands on the very wall Humpty has so doggedly been avoiding, he faces the choice of continuing to follow his fear or to break free of it, which he does, going from cracked egg to powerful flight in a sequence of stunning spreads. Santat applies his considerable talent for intertwining visual and textual, whimsy and gravity to his consideration of trauma and the oft-overlooked importance of self-determined recovery. While this newest addition to Santat’s successes will inevitably (and deservedly) be lauded, younger readers may not notice the de-emphasis of an equally important part of recovery: that it is not compulsory—it is OK not to be OK.

A validating and breathtaking next chapter of a Mother Goose favorite. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 3, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-62672-682-6

Page Count: 45

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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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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