GOOD-BYE, 382 SHIN DANG DONG

Though the subject of moving day is a popular theme, the Parks (Where on Earth is My Bagel, 2001, etc.) provide a unique perspective on the experience. Jangmi relates her memories of her move from her Korean home to America when she was eight years old. She wakes to the beginning of the monsoon rains on her roof in her room stripped of all her belongings that her parents have packed in a big brown box marked “Lovely Things.” Her best friend, Kisuni, arrives and at the market they pick out their favorite food for the farewell luncheon that day. They sit under the willow tree and share the chummy, a type of melon, sad to soon be separated. At the luncheon, family and friends “celebrate in a sad way” with traditional foods and Korean songs: “Love, laughter and tears ripple through the house.” Four days later, Jangmi and her parents arrive to begin a new life in Brighton, Massachusetts. As Jangmi arranges her “lovely things” in her own room, all of the neighbors arrive with “plates of curious food” and “something called casseroles.” Jangmi meets a girl called Mary who asks what kind of food Jangmi eats in Korea. When Dad translates the question and Jangmi answers “Chummy,” Mary giggles—just like Kisuni. The parallels of life in Korea and America are smartly conceived, and young readers will immediately identify with Jangmi and her friends. Korean terms, easily recognized in the context, add richness. Choi’s (Earthquake, 2001, etc.) oils on the opposite page of the text are simple and focus on the young girl, though the two countries are distinct in the illustrations. A gentle and loving story perfectly pitched to its audience. (Fiction. 6-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2002

ISBN: 0-7922-7985-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: National Geographic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2002

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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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BUBBA, THE COWBOY PRINCE

A FRACTURED TEXAS TALE

A Cinderella parody features the off-the-wall, whang-dang Texas hyperbole of Ketteman (The Year of No More Corn, 1993, etc.) and the insouciance of Warhola, who proves himself only too capable of creating a fairy godcow; that she's so appealingly whimsical makes it easy to accept the classic tale's inversions. The protagonist is Bubba, appropriately downtrodden and overworked by his wicked stepdaddy and loathsome brothers Dwayne and Milton, who spend their days bossing him around. The other half of the happy couple is Miz Lurleen, who owns ``the biggest spread west of the Brazos.'' She craves male companionship to help her work the place, ``and it wouldn't hurt if he was cute as a cow's ear, either.'' There are no surprises in this version except in the hilarious way the premise plays itself out and in Warhola's delightful visual surprises. When Lurleen tracks the bootless Bubba down, ``Dwayne and Milton and their wicked daddy threw chicken fits.'' Bubba and babe, hair as big as a Texas sun, ride off to a life of happy ranching, and readers will be proud to have been along for the courtship. (Picture book/folklore. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-590-25506-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1997

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