AMAZING ANIMALS

A book about friendly animals of all stripes and colors, from every corner of the globe, growing, playing, swimming, flying, hunting, feeding, and dying. These pictures are precisely drawn in pencil and then carefully fleshed out with watercolors in such a way that no matter how complicated the scene (in one picture, over 70 different species can be counted), every detail can be surveyednothing gets lost in the whole. The illustrations are imaginatively conceivedbig tableaux, little scenes juxtaposed with one another, pictures laid out like diagrams (e.g., tracing the growth of a butterfly)and very animated. Although the animals in this book are sometimes agressive toward others shown, they are amiable enough toward readers. The texta rhyme or two per pagedoesn't quite live up to the pictures; amid a few felicitous lines (``It's naptime for this dreamy bunch/stuffed and sleeping after lunch'') are flat ones: ``Sometimes life is brutally stopped/one animal catches another and eats it up.'' (This is depicted in the illustration.) An agreeable book, if somewhat lopsided, that gives readers a good idea of what it must have been like inside Noah's ark. (Picture book/nonfiction. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 1995

ISBN: 1-886910-05-7

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Lemniscaat/Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1995

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A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift.

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BECAUSE I HAD A TEACHER

A paean to teachers and their surrogates everywhere.

This gentle ode to a teacher’s skill at inspiring, encouraging, and being a role model is spoken, presumably, from a child’s viewpoint. However, the voice could equally be that of an adult, because who can’t look back upon teachers or other early mentors who gave of themselves and offered their pupils so much? Indeed, some of the self-aware, self-assured expressions herein seem perhaps more realistic as uttered from one who’s already grown. Alternatively, readers won’t fail to note that this small book, illustrated with gentle soy-ink drawings and featuring an adult-child bear duo engaged in various sedentary and lively pursuits, could just as easily be about human parent- (or grandparent-) child pairs: some of the softly colored illustrations depict scenarios that are more likely to occur within a home and/or other family-oriented setting. Makes sense: aren’t parents and other close family members children’s first teachers? This duality suggests that the book might be best shared one-on-one between a nostalgic adult and a child who’s developed some self-confidence, having learned a thing or two from a parent, grandparent, older relative, or classroom instructor.

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943200-08-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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A DOG NAMED SAM

A book that will make young dog-owners smile in recognition and confirm dogless readers' worst suspicions about the mayhem caused by pets, even winsome ones. Sam, who bears passing resemblance to an affable golden retriever, is praised for fetching the family newspaper, and goes on to fetch every other newspaper on the block. In the next story, only the children love Sam's swimming; he is yelled at by lifeguards and fishermen alike when he splashes through every watering hole he can find. Finally, there is woe to the entire family when Sam is bored and lonely for one long night. Boland has an essential message, captured in both both story and illustrations of this Easy-to-Read: Kids and dogs belong together, especially when it's a fun-loving canine like Sam. An appealing tale. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-8037-1530-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1996

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