THE YEAR OF NO MORE CORN

When Beanie complains that ``Dad says I'm too young to help'' plant corn, Grampa allows that ``that's funny, because he said I'm too old''—and wisely seizes the opportunity to describe the spring of 1928, when his successive plantings were destroyed by a string of disasters rivaling the plagues of Egypt: floods, wind, crows, a sun so hot the hens laid hard-boiled eggs and the corn popped. With the seed corn exhausted, Grampa says, he whittled a wooden ear (like the one he's making now), planted the kernels, and grew an extraordinary, never-to-be-duplicated crop of corn-laden trees. Ketteman's wry, folksy telling of her original tale is colorful and well paced. Parker's elegantly scribbled pen drawings are drenched in the sunny colors of the Midwest; the tender scenes of the boy and the old man together are especially lovely. A lively, likable tall tale. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-531-05950-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Orchard

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1993

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An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way.

NOAH CHASES THE WIND

A young boy sees things a little differently than others.

Noah can see patterns in the dust when it sparkles in the sunlight. And if he puts his nose to the ground, he can smell the “green tang of the ants in the grass.” His most favorite thing of all, however, is to read. Noah has endless curiosity about how and why things work. Books open the door to those answers. But there is one question the books do not explain. When the wind comes whistling by, where does it go? Noah decides to find out. In a chase that has a slight element of danger—wind, after all, is unpredictable—Noah runs down streets, across bridges, near a highway, until the wind lifts him off his feet. Cowman’s gusty wisps show each stream of air turning a different jewel tone, swirling all around. The ribbons gently bring Noah home, setting him down under the same thinking tree where he began. Did it really happen? Worthington’s sensitive exploration leaves readers with their own set of questions and perhaps gratitude for all types of perspective. An author’s note mentions children on the autism spectrum but widens to include all who feel a little different.

An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-60554-356-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Redleaf Lane

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

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JAMIE O'ROURKE AND THE BIG POTATO

AN IRISH FOLKTALE

Lazy Jamie O'Rourke doesn't lift a finger, even after his wife hurts her hack digging the "praties" they depend on; but he does catch a leprechaun, who gives him a seed that grows into a potato so large that it takes the combined efforts of the village to dig it and, subsequently, to eat it—"until no one wanted to see or hear of potato again." DePaola's "Note About the Story" tells more of his own family history than of "the short tale that inspired" this one, which is totally unsourced; presumably, it predates the tragedy of the Potato Famine. Anyway, as retold here, it makes a cheery picture book, with the artist using the lighter, brighter side of his palette and including some affectionate caricatures of the Irish in his decorative illustrations. Attractive and amusing. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 20, 1992

ISBN: 0-399-22257-X

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 1991

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