THIS IS THE BIRD

As a handmade wooden bird is passed down through several generations, each female relative endows it with a memory that adds to the family history. The bird was carved by a great-great-great-great-great-grandmother while waiting for her baby to be born. Her daughter hid the bird in her butter churn during a robbery. Her deaf granddaughter hid the bird in her skirt hem when she went away to school to learn sign language. As each generation's tale is added, Shannon (Tomorrow's Alphabet, 1996, etc.) achieves a cumulative effect—``The bird her mother sewed in her hem. The bird her mother hid from the thieves''— that gives the story the rhythm of oral tradition. The person narrating is a young girl who is girding herself to once again attempt a high dive, after falling. In the end, she concludes, ``This is the bird I'll always keep till the right time comes to pass it along. The bird I got to celebrate my high dive,'' adding her tale to the legend. Soman's sensitive illustrations reflect the intimacy created by the memory of ancestral struggles and accomplishments; this is a moving tribute to familial bonds. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-395-72037-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1997

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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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TO MARKET, TO MARKET

A marketing trip from Miranda (Glad Monster, Sad Monster, p. 1309) that jiggity jigs off in time-honored nursery-rhyme fashion, but almost immediately derails into well-charted chaos. The foodstuffs—the fat pig, the red hen, the plump goose, the pea pods, peppers, garlic, and spice—are wholly reasonable in light of the author's mention of shopping at traditional Spanish mercados, which stock live animals and vegetables. Stevens transfers the action to a standard American supermarket and a standard American kitchen, bringing hilarity to scenes that combine acrylics, oil pastels, and colored pencil with photo and fabric collage elements. The result is increasing frazzlement for the shopper, an older woman wearing spectacles, hat, and purple pumps (one of which is consumed by her groceries). It's back to market one last time for ingredients for the hot vegetable soup she prepares for the whole bunch. True, her kitchen's trashed and she probably won't find a welcome mat at her supermarket hereafter, but all's well that ends well—at least while the soup's on. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-15-200035-6

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1997

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