Grandmas who believe in the Jenny Craig weight-loss program are the only possible market for this book.



Weight-loss guru Craig offers lifestyle advice for children wrapped up in a sugary junk-food version of a pony story. 

Young Genevieve (who goes by Jenny) wants to swap work at a nearby stable for a chance to attend a summer riding camp. The owner accepts and offers her the use of an old horse she names Candy Ride. They both love sugared snacks, but the goodies make her and her horse feel awful, while exercise and healthy eating transform them into horse-show champions. Although the introduction features a photograph of a racehorse Craig once owned, she cuts a lot of literary corners in her representation of basic horse care—the idea that a child could alter a lesson horse’s feeding plan is preposterous, as is the idea that the horses wouldn’t have been appropriately fed already by the stable owner. As for the likelihood of a girl who isn’t strong enough to ride lifting hay bales as a workout? Those bales weigh between 40 and 70 pounds each. Edelson’s colorful watercolor illustrations likewise play fast and loose with horse anatomy and tack—some is completely impossible—and, aside from one vaguely well-tanned girl, feature only white girls as riders.

Grandmas who believe in the Jenny Craig weight-loss program are the only possible market for this book. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 23, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-62157-085-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Regnery

Review Posted Online: June 26, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2013

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Heartwarming and illuminating.


Life in a snowy northern town, from a child’s perspective and written both in Inuktitut and English

One-story houses in multiple colors sit close together beneath a cloudy blue sky, their roofs covered with snow. A little girl sits on a large metallic tube looking straight ahead. “Sitting on an elephant, always remembering what my mom said.” The next picture pulls back for a wider view; the girl is on an oil drum or water tank. Below her are some nondescript buildings and two children riding bicycles on a quiet rural road. The book’s text is a reflective poem. Stanzas end with the repeated line, “Only in my hometown.” Inside the house, so many children are playing that care needs to be taken to avoid stepping on their toys. Nearby four women share a feast of raw meat, in which the little girl is delighted to partake. Outside, blizzards can last for weeks, covering everything with snow. And then the darkness comes, enveloping the region. The northern lights dance. Everyone can be called family “in my hometown.” The sister collaborators work in harmony. Angnakuluk Friesen’s poetic text is fluid and evocative, and Ippiksaut Friesen’s illustrations, painted with watercolor and acrylic “on elephant poo paper,” then composited digitally, are lovely works of folk art. Inuktitut is rendered both in its own symbology and Romanized.

Heartwarming and illuminating. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-55498-883-9

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Groundwood

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

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A natural for fans of Jon Klassen’s terse creature capers.


A sparely told French knee-slapper features a chameleon, a rabbit and a pair of repurposed undies.

Twice repurposed, as it turns out. Having enjoyed his customary breakfast fly, green Leon “has to go poo”—and discovers too late that there’s no paper. Happily, he finds a pair of red patterned underwear “full of holes,” hanging from a twig. But hardly has he chucked the soiled briefs into a bush than an insistent little voice drives him to repent of the theft, scrub the rag clean and hang it up again. “Since when are we allowed to touch other people’s things? What do they teach you in school, anyway?” That voice of conscience, as it turns out, actually belongs to an annoyed rabbit in cape and costume. He emerges from hiding to reclaim the garment, tug it over his (wait for it) ears (the “holes” turn out to be eyeholes) and fly off. The text, printed in different colors and typefaces depending on the speaker, is placed over minimally detailed outdoor scenes created with splatters and thin layers of paint, featuring skinny-limbed figures with beady, expressive eyes.

A natural for fans of Jon Klassen’s terse creature capers. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 12, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-59270-131-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 6, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2013

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