THUMBELINA

Minor details and most of Andersen’s literary flourishes have been cut out of this shortened version, but the essential plot is intact. Grown from a magic seed, Thumbelina is repeatedly kidnapped for her beauty, escapes two forced-marriage attempts with the help of animal friends, and finally consents to wed the king of the flower people, because “he was the right husband for her.” Pinkney places his tall (about three inches—or triple her size in the original), graceful, cinnamon-skinned figure within close-up natural landscapes, vibrantly depicted in warm browns and golds with short, thick, curving brushstrokes. Though Thumbelina is not the most active or independent-minded of role models, she does have plenty of adventures, and the sense of self-possession that she radiates in every scene is never shaken by events. And even though her eye makeup looks like it was laid on with a trowel, the preciousness that tends to infect other renditions of the tale is less evident in this readable adaptation. (Picture book/fairy tale. 8-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2003

ISBN: 0-688-17476-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Greenwillow

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2003

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JUDY MOODY SAVES THE WORLD!

McDonald’s irrepressible third-grader (Judy Moody Gets Famous, 2001, etc.) takes a few false steps before hitting full stride. This time, not only has her genius little brother Stink submitted a competing entry in the Crazy Strips Band-Aid design contest, but in the wake of her science teacher’s heads-up about rainforest destruction and endangered animals, she sees every member of her family using rainforest products. It’s all more than enough to put her in a Mood, which gets her in trouble at home for letting Stink’s pet toad, Toady, go free, and at school for surreptitiously collecting all the pencils (made from rainforest cedar) in class. And to top it off, Stink’s Crazy Strips entry wins a prize, while she gets . . . a certificate. Chronicled amusingly in Reynolds’s frequent ink-and-tea drawings, Judy goes from pillar to post—but she justifies the pencil caper convincingly enough to spark a bottle drive that nets her and her classmates not only a hundred seedling trees for Costa Rica, but the coveted school Giraffe Award (given to those who stick their necks out), along with T-shirts and ice cream coupons. Judy’s growing corps of fans will crow “Rare!” right along with her. (Fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2002

ISBN: 0-7636-1446-7

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2002

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WATCH OUT FOR SHARKS!

For shark fanciers, a look at a Los Angeles Natural History Museum exhibit, Sharks: Fact and Fantasy. Now touring the country, it includes models of large and small sharks, many of them swimming in simulated undersea settings. The text follows a group of young museum-goers as they examine shark teeth, fossil sharks, sharks in art, and a living shark embryo; shark anatomy, special adaptations, types of sharks, and some shark facts are also included. Photos are clear, colorful and engaging. Not comprehensive, but an attractive added purchase. Pronunciation guide; additional reading; index. (Nonfiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 23, 1991

ISBN: 0-395-57560-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Clarion

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1991

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