LUCY DOVE

In an original story with Celtic roots, a superstitious laird believes that “a pair of trousers sewn by the light of the full moon in the graveyard of old St. Andrew’s church” will bring him luck. He offers a sackful of gold to the one who sews the trousers. Despite the rumors that St. Andrew’s is haunted by a fearsome beast, and despite the fact that those who have gone after the beast have never returned, Lucy Dove—a seamstress with her eyes on a comfortable retirement, and one cool customer—answers the laird’s challenge. She heads for the churchyard during “the twilight space between sunset and moonrise,” and sits down to sew. When the monster—all pointed teeth, blazing eyes, and ropey neck—rises from the grave beside her, Lucy keeps right on sewing, commenting that he must be “the wee bogle” featured in children’s bedtime stories. Lucy’s cheek buys her just enough time to finish the trousers and hightail it to the laird to collect her reward, with the furious bogle in hot pursuit. Told in lilting, colorful language, Del Negro presents a woman with mettle enough for beasts mythical and real, while Gore’s sweeping acrylic illustrations, overlaid with a hatching of fine white lines, provide a properly spooky setting of twisting branches, cracked gravestones, and looming ravens. (Picture book. 5-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-7894-2514-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: DK Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1998

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DOG HEAVEN

Rylant's debut as a picture book illustrator (not to be confused with her board book debut as a collagist in The Everyday Books, 1993) offers sweet comfort to all who have lost loved ones, pets or otherwise. ``When dogs go to Heaven, they don't need wings because God knows that dogs love running best. He gives them fields. Fields and fields and fields.'' There are geese to bark at, plenty of children, biscuits, and, for those that need them, homes. In page- filling acrylics, small, simply brushed figures float against huge areas of bright colors: pictures infused with simple, doggy joy. At the end, an old man leans on a cane as he walks up a slope toward a small white dog: ``Dogs in Dog Heaven may stay as long as they like. . . .They will be there when old friends show up. They will be there at the door.'' Pure, tender, lyrical without being overearnest, and deeply felt. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-590-41701-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Blue Sky/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1995

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BUBBA, THE COWBOY PRINCE

A FRACTURED TEXAS TALE

A Cinderella parody features the off-the-wall, whang-dang Texas hyperbole of Ketteman (The Year of No More Corn, 1993, etc.) and the insouciance of Warhola, who proves himself only too capable of creating a fairy godcow; that she's so appealingly whimsical makes it easy to accept the classic tale's inversions. The protagonist is Bubba, appropriately downtrodden and overworked by his wicked stepdaddy and loathsome brothers Dwayne and Milton, who spend their days bossing him around. The other half of the happy couple is Miz Lurleen, who owns ``the biggest spread west of the Brazos.'' She craves male companionship to help her work the place, ``and it wouldn't hurt if he was cute as a cow's ear, either.'' There are no surprises in this version except in the hilarious way the premise plays itself out and in Warhola's delightful visual surprises. When Lurleen tracks the bootless Bubba down, ``Dwayne and Milton and their wicked daddy threw chicken fits.'' Bubba and babe, hair as big as a Texas sun, ride off to a life of happy ranching, and readers will be proud to have been along for the courtship. (Picture book/folklore. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-590-25506-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1997

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