Vivid, inventive collages by author/artist Jeannie Baker make this picture book on the hidden underwater world of kelp forests a compelling addition to the ecology section of school and public libraries. For her collages, the author/artist used collected natural materials, (pressed seaweed, sand, and sponges) or translucent artist's clay to model kelp and resin to make seawater. These visually striking illustrations extend the story of Ben, a young boy who holds little regard for sea life. When his fish trap is tangled in the kelp, he enlists the help of his snorkeling friend, Sophie, to free it. Sophie takes Ben under the sea where he discovers the enchanted world of the kelp forest and its inhabitants. Small fish skitter near and a benign whale glides by, a gray shadow with barnacles and an enormous eye. Throughout, the kelp holds center stage against an intense blue sea. The lush and varied kelp shimmers, sways, and stretches in the tide. `When the kelp touches him, it feels like velvet swirling against his skin.` He returns to the surface of the sea with a greater appreciation of the sea and the life within it. As with other picture book ecology titles by Baker (The Story of Rosy Dock, 1995, etc.) this title captivates the viewer while celebrating the environment. Not to be missed. (Picture book. 59)

Pub Date: March 31, 2000

ISBN: 0-688-15760-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2000

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The book is perfect for read-alouds, with occasional, often onomatopoeic Spanish words such as “quiquiriquí,” “tacatac” and...


Inspired by Colombian librarian Luis Soriano Bohórquez, Brown’s latest tells of a little girl whose wish comes true when a librarian and two book-laden burros visit her remote village.

Ana loves to read and spends all of her free time either reading alone or to her younger brother. She knows every word of the one book she owns. Although she uses her imagination to create fantastical bedtime tales for her brother, she really wants new books to read. Everything changes when a traveling librarian and his two donkeys, Alfa and Beto, arrive in the village. Besides loaning books to the children until his next visit, the unnamed man also reads them stories and teaches the younger children the alphabet. When Ana suggests that someone write a book about the traveling library, he encourages her to complete this task herself. After she reads her library books, Ana writes her own story for the librarian and gives it to him upon his reappearance—and he makes it part of his biblioburro collection. Parra’s colorful folk-style illustrations of acrylics on board bring Ana’s real and imaginary worlds to life. This is a child-centered complement to Jeanette Winter’s Biblioburro (2010), which focuses on Soriano.

The book is perfect for read-alouds, with occasional, often onomatopoeic Spanish words such as “quiquiriquí,” “tacatac” and “iii-aah” adding to the fun.   (author’s note, glossary of Spanish terms) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: July 12, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-58246-353-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tricycle

Review Posted Online: June 6, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2011

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This companion piece to the other fairy tales Marcia Brown has interpreted (see Puss In Boots, 1952, p. 548 and others) has the smoothness of a good translation and a unique charm to her feathery light pictures. The pictures have been done in sunset colors and the spreads on each page as they illustrate the story have the cumulative effect of soft cloud banks. Gentle.

Pub Date: June 15, 1954

ISBN: 0684126761

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1954

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