TWO DAYS IN MAY

Taylor’s story of a deer family’s unexpected appearance in an urban garden is hampered by its monotone delivery, but there is an easy imparting of information that ought to be in every child’s environmental-awareness kit. Early one morning, young Sonia discovers five deer tucking into the greens growing in her city garden. While the neighbors come to gape, Sonia’s dad and the building super decide to call the animal control officers to have the deer safely removed. Unfortunately, the animal control officer’s policy is to exterminate the deer. The neighbors decide to peacefully protest this policy by gathering around the deer to protect them, while in the meantime alerting a wildlife rescue group. Most of the neighbors spend the night alongside the deer; the next morning, Carl, from the rescue group, arrives to sedate and cart away the deer (much to the relief of the animal control officer) to a safe haven. Sprinkled throughout the tale are such concepts as habitat loss, seasonal food needs, overpopulation, and other staples of eco-consciousness. Delicate watercolors emphasize the adorable over the wild, while also heightening the incongruity of the situation. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 13, 1999

ISBN: 0-374-37988-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1999

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DORY STORY

Who is next in the ocean food chain? Pallotta has a surprising answer in this picture book glimpse of one curious boy. Danny, fascinated by plankton, takes his dory and rows out into the ocean, where he sees shrimp eating those plankton, fish sand eels eating shrimp, mackerel eating fish sand eels, bluefish chasing mackerel, tuna after bluefish, and killer whales after tuna. When an enormous humpbacked whale arrives on the scene, Danny’s dory tips over and he has to swim for a large rock or become—he worries’someone’s lunch. Surreal acrylic illustrations in vivid blues and red extend the story of a small boy, a small boat, and a vast ocean, in which the laws of the food chain are paramount. That the boy has been bathtub-bound during this entire imaginative foray doesn’t diminish the suspense, and the facts Pallotta presents are solidly researched. A charming fish tale about the one—the boy—that got away. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-88106-075-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2000

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THE COOKIE-STORE CAT

There is an ineffable sweetness in Rylant’s work, which skirts the edge of sentimentality but rarely tumbles, saved by her simple artistry. This companion piece to The Bookshop Dog (1996) relates how the cookie-store cat was found, a tiny, skinny kitten, very early one day as the bakers came in to work. The cat gets morning kisses, when the bakers tell him that he is “sweeter than any cookie” and “prettier than marzipan.” Then he makes his rounds, out the screen door painted with “cherry drops and gingerbread men” to visit the fish-shop owner, the yarn lady, and the bookshop, where Martha Jane makes a cameo appearance. Back at the cookie store, the cat listens to Father Eugene, who eats his three Scotch chewies and tells about the new baby in the parish, and sits with the children and their bags of cookies. At Christmas he wears a bell and a red ribbon, and all the children get free Santa cookies. The cheerful illustrations are done in paint as thick as frosting; the flattened shapes and figures are a bit cookie-shaped themselves. A few recipes are included in this yummy, comforting book. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-590-54329-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Blue Sky/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1999

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