A silly, easy-to-read rhyming adventure for young readers.

TWO BEES ON THE HIGH SEAS

In this picture-book series starter by author Martin and illustrator Walstead (Perk and Bing and Squirrel’s Sting, 2018), two bees are stranded in an acorn boat during a storm because their wings are too wet to fly.

One summer day, a rainstorm floods the valley where sibling bees Perk and Bing live. They’re stuck on the ground with only an acorn shell to protect them from the water. In the illustrations, the two start the story in their tree and intentionally go to play in the rain—a bit of mischief that isn’t noted in the text. They turn the shell into a boat and find themselves adrift. When they float by their tree, they call for help, but their mother doesn’t hear. Finally, they make it ashore to wait out the storm. Walstead’s cartoon images add unmentioned characters, such as a frog and a fish who assist the unlucky bees; Bing is shown wearing a backwards, blue baseball cap, and Perk, a pink bow. Some verb placements in Martin’s poetry (“The rain, it came”; “Sad and scared was Mother Bee”) may strike newly independent readers as odd. However, the lines still scan well, only changing their rhyme scheme for two pages, and the consistent rhythm makes them easy to read aloud. An illustrated glossary appears at the end.

A silly, easy-to-read rhyming adventure for young readers.

Pub Date: Jan. 21, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-984065-50-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2019

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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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