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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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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THE DOG THAT DUG FOR DINOSAURS

This easy reader for children reading at the fluency level recounts the story of a girl named Mary Ann Anning and her dog, Tray. They lived on the coast of England in the early 1800s, although the time frame is given only as “a long, long time ago.” Mary Ann and Tray became famous for their discoveries of fossils, including dinosaur bones. They discovered the first pterodactyl found in England, and the name was assigned to their fossil. The story focuses a little too much on the dog, and the title misses a great opportunity to completely acknowledge a girl accomplishing something important in the scientific world, especially in a much earlier era and without formal training or education. Despite this drawback, both Mary Ann and Tray are appealing characters and the discovery of the fossils and subsequent notice from scientists, collectors, and even royalty is appealing and well written. Sullivan’s illustrations provide intriguing period details in costumes, tools, and buildings, as well as a clever front endpaper of fossil-strewn ground covered with muddy paw prints. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: July 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-689-85708-X

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Aladdin

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2004

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