HELP ME, JACQUES COUSTEAU

A fine prose stylist shows her chops in this reissue—and first U.S. publication—of her 1995 debut. In 13 tenuously connected episodes, introspective Hazel creates largely amusing character portraits of her parents, her younger brother Andrew, her grandparents and selected neighbors over a period that spans her own childhood and adolescence. Though developing into a moody teen who takes far less interest in studies or friends than in spying on neighbors, chronicling challenged marriages and (latterly) seducing men, Hazel is surrounded by quirky, appealing people, and the vignettes are lightened by wonderful turns of phrase. School “looms like a permanent seat at the dentist’s.” “Nothing can stroll quite like a horse.” Visiting cousins pour out of their car “like fish from a bucket.” So disguised and understated is Adamson’s brand of humor, however, that it will take readers who are particularly sensitive to nuances of tone and language to appreciate it fully. Buy it for teens and adults who match that description. (Fiction. 15-adult)

Pub Date: May 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-88784-799-8

Page Count: 200

Publisher: House of Anansi Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 9, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2010

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The book is perfect for read-alouds, with occasional, often onomatopoeic Spanish words such as “quiquiriquí,” “tacatac” and...

WAITING FOR THE BIBLIOBURRO

Inspired by Colombian librarian Luis Soriano Bohórquez, Brown’s latest tells of a little girl whose wish comes true when a librarian and two book-laden burros visit her remote village.

Ana loves to read and spends all of her free time either reading alone or to her younger brother. She knows every word of the one book she owns. Although she uses her imagination to create fantastical bedtime tales for her brother, she really wants new books to read. Everything changes when a traveling librarian and his two donkeys, Alfa and Beto, arrive in the village. Besides loaning books to the children until his next visit, the unnamed man also reads them stories and teaches the younger children the alphabet. When Ana suggests that someone write a book about the traveling library, he encourages her to complete this task herself. After she reads her library books, Ana writes her own story for the librarian and gives it to him upon his reappearance—and he makes it part of his biblioburro collection. Parra’s colorful folk-style illustrations of acrylics on board bring Ana’s real and imaginary worlds to life. This is a child-centered complement to Jeanette Winter’s Biblioburro (2010), which focuses on Soriano.

The book is perfect for read-alouds, with occasional, often onomatopoeic Spanish words such as “quiquiriquí,” “tacatac” and “iii-aah” adding to the fun.   (author’s note, glossary of Spanish terms) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: July 12, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-58246-353-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tricycle

Review Posted Online: June 6, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2011

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CINDERELLA

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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