THE HIDDEN FOREST

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 GIRL WHO LOVED WILD HORSES

            There are many parallel legends – the seal women, for example, with their strange sad longings – but none is more direct than this American Indian story of a girl who is carried away in a horses’ stampede…to ride thenceforth by the side of a beautiful stallion who leads the wild horses.  The girl had always loved horses, and seemed to understand them “in a special way”; a year after her disappearance her people find her riding beside the stallion, calf in tow, and take her home despite his strong resistance.  But she is unhappy and returns to the stallion; after that, a beautiful mare is seen riding always beside him.  Goble tells the story soberly, allowing it to settle, to find its own level.  The illustrations are in the familiar striking Goble style, but softened out here and there with masses of flowers and foliage – suitable perhaps for the switch in subject matter from war to love, but we miss the spanking clean design of Custer’s Last Battle and The Fetterman Fight.          6-7

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1978

ISBN: 0689845049

Page Count: -

Publisher: Bradbury

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1978

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GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS

With the same delightfully irreverent spirit that he brought to his retelling of "Little Red Riding Hood" (1987), Marshall enlivens another favorite. Although completely retold with his usual pungent wit and contemporary touches ("I don't mind if I do," says Goldilocks, as she tries out porridge, chair, and bed), Marshall retains the stories well-loved pattern, including Goldilocks escaping through the window (whereupon Baby Bear inquires, "Who was that little girl?"). The illustrations are fraught with delicious humor and detail: books that are stacked everywhere around the rather cluttered house, including some used in lieu of a missing leg for Papa Bear's chair; comically exaggerated beds—much too high at the head and the foot; and Baby Bear's wonderfully messy room, which certainly brings the story into the 20th century. Like its predecessor, perfect for several uses, from picture-book hour to beginning reading.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1988

ISBN: 0140563660

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1988

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