With consistently scanning rhymes, this tale may charm young readers looking for a silly forest adventure.


A thieving squirrel upsets bees who use acorn shells in this rhyming vocabulary sequel from the team of Martin and Walstead (Two Bees on the High Seas, 2018).

Perk, Bing, and their redheaded Mother Bee live in an oak tree, where bees collect the honey dripping from their hive in acorn bowls. Because they only use the shells, the nuts are wasted, set aside to dry and crack. When a squirrel discovers the bees’ acorns, he believes he’s hit the jackpot and takes them to his tree. The dismayed bees look everywhere until Perk and Bing spot the culprit. When the bees confront the squirrel, they learn he was only taking the acorns to feed his family. The bees realize that they’ve been wasteful, and the squirrels agree they only need the nuts, not the shells, resulting in a deal. The idea of striking a balance and sharing resources with neighbors is appealing. But young readers may question why the bees gather their honey in acorn buckets. While the cartoon creatures are suitably kid-friendly, children may wonder why Mother Bee, Perk, and Bing are working without the hard hats most of the other insects sport. In addition, adults may be annoyed at the only-girls-have-eyelashes shortcut used to identify female characters.

With consistently scanning rhymes, this tale may charm young readers looking for a silly forest adventure.

Pub Date: May 24, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-71877-117-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2019

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            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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A rollicking tale of rivalry.


Sweet Street had just one baker, Monsieur Oliphant, until two new confectionists move in, bringing a sugar rush of competition and customers.

First comes “Cookie Concocter par excellence” Mademoiselle Fee and then a pie maker, who opens “the divine Patisserie Clotilde!” With each new arrival to Sweet Street, rivalries mount and lines of hungry treat lovers lengthen. Children will delight in thinking about an abundance of gingerbread cookies, teetering, towering cakes, and blackbird pies. Wonderfully eccentric line-and-watercolor illustrations (with whites and marbled pastels like frosting) appeal too. Fine linework lends specificity to an off-kilter world in which buildings tilt at wacky angles and odd-looking (exclusively pale) people walk about, their pantaloons, ruffles, long torsos, and twiglike arms, legs, and fingers distinguishing them as wonderfully idiosyncratic. Rotund Monsieur Oliphant’s periwinkle complexion, flapping ears, and elongated nose make him look remarkably like an elephant while the women confectionists appear clownlike, with exaggerated lips, extravagantly lashed eyes, and voluminous clothes. French idioms surface intermittently, adding a certain je ne sais quoi. Embedded rhymes contribute to a bouncing, playful narrative too: “He layered them and cherried them and married people on them.” Tension builds as the cul de sac grows more congested with sweet-makers, competition, frustration, and customers. When the inevitable, fantastically messy food fight occurs, an observant child finds a sweet solution amid the delicious detritus.

A rollicking tale of rivalry. (Picture book. 4-8 )

Pub Date: July 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-101-91885-2

Page Count: 44

Publisher: Tundra Books

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2020

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