This lively tale about a quirky race should entertain children, particularly those who are just learning to read.



In this debut picture book, Pérez shares his vision of the age-old lesson that there is more to life than competing with others.

The brief story opens by introducing Little Mike, who prefers buttons on his clothing, and his cousin Joshua, who prefers zippers. One night, the two boys decide to have a race to see who can put on their pajamas the fastest. Little Mike wins the first round with his buttons because Joshua cannot seem to be able to find his zipper in the dark. The two boys decide to compete again the following night, but when the time comes, Joshua’s zipper gets caught, and Little Mike triumphs again. Finally, Joshua decides to oil his zipper to get it working properly, and he prevails in the third race. When Little Mike discovers his tactic, he decides it’s cheating and demands that they try again with an unoiled zipper. Joshua gets an article of clothing with a newer zipper and wins the fourth contest as well. Because both boys are even in their scores, they decide to ask the Master Tailor which is better, buttons or zippers. The Master Tailor uses a metaphor about how both edges of his scissors work together, and he tells them: “My little ones, it is good to race, compete and win. But again, I think life is not only about winning, but about working together.” The buoyant story is accompanied by Bunda’s (Macimanito Môswa, 2016, etc.) sweet illustrations of the two boys and the Master Tailor. (The cast, however, lacks diversity.) Some of the colorful images show the boys racing in cars or rocket ships as a visual metaphor for their more sedate competition. The plot moves swiftly and thus this simple tale is a quick read. While the message that “winning isn’t everything” is not a new moral, Pérez delivers a fresh and somewhat unexpected take on it. But the text could use another edit, as there are some minor errors in capitalization and punctuation (for example, missing quotation marks). Otherwise, the formatting is consistent and eye-catching.

This lively tale about a quirky race should entertain children, particularly those who are just learning to read.

Pub Date: April 20, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4907-8128-0

Page Count: -

Publisher: Trafford

Review Posted Online: April 18, 2017

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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...


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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One of those rare thrillers whose answers are even more scarifying than its mysteries.


A middle-aged woman sidelined by a horrific accident finds even sharper pains waiting on the other side of her recuperation in this expert nightmare by Hardy, familiar to many readers as Megan Hart, author of All the Secrets We Keep (2017), etc.

Five months ago, while she was on her way to the hospital with an ailing gallbladder, Diana Sparrow’s car hit a deer on a rural Pennsylvania road. When she awoke, she was minus her gallbladder, two working collarbones (and therefore two functioning arms), and her memory. During a recovery that would’ve been impossible without the constant ministrations of Harriett Richmond, the mother-in-law who’s the real reason Diana married her husband, Jonathan, Diana’s discovered that Jonathan has been cheating on her with her childhood friend Valerie Delagatti. Divorce is out of the question: Diana’s grown used to the pampered lifestyle the prenup she’d signed would snatch away from her. Every day is filled with torments. She slips and falls in a pool of wine on her kitchen floor she’s sure she didn’t spill herself. At the emergency room, her credit card and debit card are declined. She feels that she hates oppressively solicitous Harriett but has no idea why. Her sessions with her psychiatrist fail to heal her rage at her adoptive mother, an addict who abandoned her then returned only to disappear again and die an ugly death. Even worse, her attempts to recover her lost memory lead to an excruciatingly paced series of revelations. Val says Diana asked her to seduce Jonathan. Diana realizes that Cole, a fellow student in her watercolor class, isn’t the stranger she’d thought he was. Where can this maze of deceptions possibly end?

One of those rare thrillers whose answers are even more scarifying than its mysteries.

Pub Date: Nov. 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-64385-470-0

Page Count: 310

Publisher: Crooked Lane

Review Posted Online: Aug. 19, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

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This companion piece to the other fairy tales Marcia Brown has interpreted (see Puss In Boots, 1952, p. 548 and others) has the smoothness of a good translation and a unique charm to her feathery light pictures. The pictures have been done in sunset colors and the spreads on each page as they illustrate the story have the cumulative effect of soft cloud banks. Gentle.

Pub Date: June 15, 1954

ISBN: 0684126761

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1954

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