ARMADILLY CHILI

Little Red Hen goes to Texas. A Blue Norther puts Miss Billie Armadilly in the mood for some chili, but when she asks Tex the tarantula, Mackie the bluebird, and Taffy the horned toad to help gather the requisite beetles, jalapeños, and prickly pear, they make excuses. So, it’s “No cookin’ with Billie, no sharin’ the chili!” when the dish’s scent draws the miscreants to her door. But despite its savor, the chili tastes “flat as a Texas prairie” to Miss Billie—until her now-repentant buddies reappear, bearing dishes of their own, to share it. Terry debuts with big Southwestern scenes, laid out in swirls and curls of rich color, through which his characters, decked out in western wear (that’s a Stetson and four pairs of boots for Tex), saunter stylishly until gathering at Billie’s hacienda to chatter the chilly night away. Despite the lack of a recipe—with or without beetles—here’s a tale guaranteed to warm the bones on a cold night. (Picture book/folktale. 7-9)

Pub Date: March 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-8075-0457-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2004

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DAVID GOES TO SCHOOL

The poster boy for relentless mischief-makers everywhere, first encountered in No, David! (1998), gives his weary mother a rest by going to school. Naturally, he’s tardy, and that’s but the first in a long string of offenses—“Sit down, David! Keep your hands to yourself! PAY ATTENTION!”—that culminates in an afterschool stint. Children will, of course, recognize every line of the text and every one of David’s moves, and although he doesn’t exhibit the larger- than-life quality that made him a tall-tale anti-hero in his first appearance, his round-headed, gap-toothed enthusiasm is still endearing. For all his disruptive behavior, he shows not a trace of malice, and it’ll be easy for readers to want to encourage his further exploits. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-590-48087-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1999

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Plenty of baseball action, but the paint-by-numbers plot is just a vehicle for equally standard-issue advice. .

THE CONTRACT

For his eponymous imprint, the New York Yankees star leads off with a self-referential tale of Little League triumphs.

In the first of a projected 10 episodes based on the same number of “Life Lessons” espoused by the lead author’s Turn 2 Foundation, third-grader Derek turns in an essay announcing that his dream is to play shortstop for the New York Yankees (No. 1 on the Turn 2 list: “Set your goals high”). His parents take him seriously enough not only to present him with a “contract” that promises rewards for behaviors like working hard and avoiding alcohol and drugs, but also to put a flea in the ear of his teacher after she gives him a B-minus on the essay for being unrealistic. Derek then goes on to pull up his math grade. He also proceeds to pull off brilliant plays for his new Little League team despite finding himself stuck at second base while the coach’s son makes multiple bad decisions at shortstop and, worse, publicly puts down other team members. Jeter serves as his own best example of the chosen theme’s theoretical validity, but as he never acknowledges that making the majors (in any sport) requires uncommon physical talent as well as ambition and determination, this values-driven pitch is well out of the strike zone.

Plenty of baseball action, but the paint-by-numbers plot is just a vehicle for equally standard-issue advice. . (foundation ad and curriculum guide, not seen) (Fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 23, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4814-2312-0

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Jeter/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2014

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