The author-illustrator of a fine array of comical easy readers, picture books, and creatively retold nursery tales adopts a new genre. With irreverent spoofs of contemporary themes, offbeat humor, snappy dialogue, and delightful plot twists, these seven brief animal stories are vintage Marshall. Two feckless sheep put a threatening wolf to sleep with their inane chatter; a huge mouse averts a tragedy by literally hurling a cat-intruder out of her wedding reception; a frog preens himself on his handsome legs until he reads an embarrassing French recipe; a convocation of birds prevents a rude but vegetarian brontosaurus from eating the tree where an owl has its nest when the birds crowd the tree and spoil the dinosaur's appetite by suggesting how awful they would taste. The villains are always foiled here, but the outcomes are deliciously unpredictable. Occasional b&w drawings extend the humorous characterizations. Sure appeal; a natural for reading aloud. (Fiction/Young reader. 6-10)

Pub Date: June 17, 1991

ISBN: 0-8037-0834-3

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1991

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Charmed by her new baby brother, Elizabeti decides that she wants a baby of her own; she picks up a smooth rock, names it Eva and washes, feeds, and changes her, and carries her about in her cloth kanga. Hale dresses Elizabeti and her family in modern, brightly patterned clothing that practically glows against the earth-toned, sketchily defined Tanzanian village in which this is set. Although Eva appears a bit too large for Elizabeti to handle as easily as she does, the illustrations reflect the story’s simplicity; accompanied by an attentive hen, Elizabeti follows her indulgent mother about, mimicking each nurturing activity. The object of Elizabeti’s affection may be peculiar, but the love itself is real. Later, she rescues Eva from the fire pit, tenderly cleans her, then cradles the stone until she—Elizabeti—falls asleep. Stuve-Bodeen’s debut is quirky but believable, lightly dusted with cultural detail, and features universal emotions in an unusual setting. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 1-880000-70-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Lee & Low Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1998

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At ``Step 2'' in the useful ``Step into Reading'' series: an admirably clear, well-balanced presentation that centers on wolves' habits and pack structure. Milton also addresses their endangered status, as well as their place in fantasy, folklore, and the popular imagination. Attractive realistic watercolors on almost every page. Top-notch: concise, but remarkably extensive in its coverage. A real bargain. (Nonfiction/Easy reader. 6-10)

Pub Date: April 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-679-91052-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1992

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