THE QUILTMAKERS JOURNEY

Billowing, jewel-toned patterns illuminate this visually and verbally lush prequel to The Quiltmaker’s Gift (2001). Having never had a want or whim go unsatisfied, a young woman—engagingly portrayed with bouncy, white-ash hair and mobile, expressive hands and features—is shocked to see poverty in the world outside her walled town. Rejecting her town Elders’ suggestion that the poor be ignored, she leaves her old life behind and, fed by kindly peasants and wild animals, begins creating quilts to warm the blanketless. As in Brumbeau’s prior outing, the tale’s language is sometimes overblown—one quilt “had the colors of hopeful mornings and rosy-cheeked children and gardens bursting in bloom.” However, de Marcken’s art more than compensates with extravagantly detailed scenes into which quilt patterns (named on the endpapers) have been incorporated, along with multi-species flights of birds and romanticized but vivacious human figures. An aerial map printed inside the jacket will be hidden by library processing, but young readers will pore over the rest of the art. (Picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: April 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-439-51219-0

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2005

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THE RECESS QUEEN

Positing that bullies only act that way because they’re lonely, O’Neill (Loud Emily, 1998) puts seemingly meek, new classmate Katie Sue up against aggressive Mean Jean, swaggering boss of the playground. Knowing but one way to deal with challengers (“she’d push ’em and smoosh ’em, / lollapaloosh ’em, / hammer ’em, slammer ’em, / kitz and kajammer ’em . . .”), Mean Jean roughly tries to set Katie Sue straight on the pecking order. But Katie Sue stands up to her with a cheeky, “How DID you get to be so bossy?” and pulls out a jump rope, inviting Mean Jean to jump along. Presto change-o, a friendship is born. Huliska-Beith’s (The Book of Bad Ideas, 2000, etc.) rubbery-limbed figures, rolling perspectives, and neon-bright colors reflect the text’s informality as well as its frenzied energy. Though the suggested strategy works far more easily here than it would in real life, young readers will be caught up by Katie Sue’s engaging, fizzy exuberance. (Picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-439-20637-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2001

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DAVID GOES TO SCHOOL

The poster boy for relentless mischief-makers everywhere, first encountered in No, David! (1998), gives his weary mother a rest by going to school. Naturally, he’s tardy, and that’s but the first in a long string of offenses—“Sit down, David! Keep your hands to yourself! PAY ATTENTION!”—that culminates in an afterschool stint. Children will, of course, recognize every line of the text and every one of David’s moves, and although he doesn’t exhibit the larger- than-life quality that made him a tall-tale anti-hero in his first appearance, his round-headed, gap-toothed enthusiasm is still endearing. For all his disruptive behavior, he shows not a trace of malice, and it’ll be easy for readers to want to encourage his further exploits. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-590-48087-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1999

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