Having actually brushed his teeth and shown other signs of being a “goodie-4-paws,” Little Wolf is dispatched by his concerned parents to Uncle Bigbad’s Cunning College For Brute Beasts (“Our Motto: The Badder the Better”) to learn the Nine Rules of Badness. In a series of letters home, Little Wolf not only protests that it was all a joke, he also recounts a series of daffy incidents, culminating in Uncle Bigbad’s sudden death from standing too close to the fire after a surfeit of “bakebeans.” Little Wolf inherits Uncle Bigbad’s loot and “BAD” badge, but having met a troop of cubs—as in cub scouts—he develops a new code of ethics and a taste for further adventure. Plenty of blots, scratch-outs and simple pen-and-ink drawings give Little Wolf’s letters a suitably disheveled look; readers afflicted with delicate sensitivities need not apply, but fans of Dav Pilkey’s Captain Underpants will be heartily amused by this broad British farce. (Fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: Oct. 5, 1999

ISBN: 1-57505-410-8

Page Count: 130

Publisher: Carolrhoda

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1999

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This vibrant, thoughtful book from Katz (Over the Moon, 1997) continues her tribute to her adopted daughter, Lena, born in Guatemala. Lena is “seven. I am the color of cinnamon. Mom says she could eat me up”; she learns during a painting lesson that to get the color brown, she will have to “mix red, yellow, black, and white paints.” They go for a walk to observe the many shades of brown: they see Sonia, who is the color of creamy peanut butter; Isabella, who is chocolate brown; Lucy, both peachy and tan; Jo-Jin, the color of honey; Kyle, “like leaves in fall”; Mr. Pellegrino, the color of pizza crust, golden brown. Lena realizes that every shade is beautiful, then mixes her paints accordingly for portraits of her friends—“The colors of us!” Bold illustrations celebrate diversity with a child’s open-hearted sensibility and a mother’s love. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-8050-5864-8

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1999

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Florian’s seventh collection of verse is also his most uneven; though the flair for clever rhyme that consistently lights up his other books, beginning with Monster Motel (1993), occasionally shows itself—“Hello, my name is Dracula/My clothing is all blackula./I drive a Cadillacula./I am a maniacula”—too many of the entries are routine limericks, putdowns, character portraits, rhymed lists that fall flat on the ear, or quick quips: “It’s hard to be anonymous/When you’re a hippopotamus.” Florian’s language and simple, thick-lined cartoons illustrations are equally ingenuous, and he sticks to tried-and-true subjects, from dinosaurs to school lunch, but the well of inspiration seems dry; revisit his hilarious Bing Bang Boing (1994) instead. (index) (Poetry. 8-10)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-15-202084-5

Page Count: 158

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1999

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