NEKANE, THE LAMI•A AND THE BEAR

A TALE OF THE BASQUE PYRENEES

An American anthropologist of Basque descent retells a story remembered from his childhood. Nekane's mother sends her through the woods from their fishing village to Uncle Kepa with a gift of fish and olive oil, warning her to beware of the shape-shifting lami§a, a forest spirit who will steal the oil if it can. Armed by knowing that the lami§a ``is limited by the form it takes...doesn't like dogs...[and] will never let you see its feet,'' the child sets out. When the spirit appears as fog, she runs until the wind dissipates it; she bargains with a bear (not the lami§a) that wants to eat her (``My Uncle...will give you all the honey you can hold...''); then, when she finds the lami§a, in the guise of a fox, impersonating her uncle in his house, she tricks both antagonists so that the fox is chased away by the bear. In compellingly expressionistic art, the Chinese-born illustrator creates free-flowing images in vibrant watercolor; the vulnerable-looking child's sturdy feet and a rainbow-splashed dress presage that she'll be more than a match for the monumental bear and ever-so-pointy fox. Araujo's narration of this satisfying Red Riding Hood variant is brisk and informal, with plenty of lively dialogue that will be fun to share aloud. A fine story hour choice. (Folklore/Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 1993

ISBN: 1-877810-01-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 1993

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A DOG NAMED SAM

A book that will make young dog-owners smile in recognition and confirm dogless readers' worst suspicions about the mayhem caused by pets, even winsome ones. Sam, who bears passing resemblance to an affable golden retriever, is praised for fetching the family newspaper, and goes on to fetch every other newspaper on the block. In the next story, only the children love Sam's swimming; he is yelled at by lifeguards and fishermen alike when he splashes through every watering hole he can find. Finally, there is woe to the entire family when Sam is bored and lonely for one long night. Boland has an essential message, captured in both both story and illustrations of this Easy-to-Read: Kids and dogs belong together, especially when it's a fun-loving canine like Sam. An appealing tale. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-8037-1530-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1996

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Visually accomplished but marred by stereotypical cultural depictions.

HOME

Ellis, known for her illustrations for Colin Meloy’s Wildwood series, here riffs on the concept of “home.”

Shifting among homes mundane and speculative, contemporary and not, Ellis begins and ends with views of her own home and a peek into her studio. She highlights palaces and mansions, but she also takes readers to animal homes and a certain famously folkloric shoe (whose iconic Old Woman manages a passel of multiethnic kids absorbed in daring games). One spread showcases “some folks” who “live on the road”; a band unloads its tour bus in front of a theater marquee. Ellis’ compelling ink and gouache paintings, in a palette of blue-grays, sepia and brick red, depict scenes ranging from mythical, underwater Atlantis to a distant moonscape. Another spread, depicting a garden and large building under connected, transparent domes, invites readers to wonder: “Who in the world lives here? / And why?” (Earth is seen as a distant blue marble.) Some of Ellis’ chosen depictions, oddly juxtaposed and stripped of any historical or cultural context due to the stylized design and spare text, become stereotypical. “Some homes are boats. / Some homes are wigwams.” A sailing ship’s crew seems poised to land near a trio of men clad in breechcloths—otherwise unidentified and unremarked upon.

Visually accomplished but marred by stereotypical cultural depictions. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 24, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6529-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2014

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