As seen on the first page, Amy is quite capable of mischief; but when her mother packs her off to visit her twin cousins, she almost meets her match. Jocasta and Meredith are ``very clever, very tall for their age, and never got into trouble. But when no one was looking they did mean things with fingernails and rubber bands.'' They terrorize Amy with tales of a monster under the bed, but by the second night—when the story suddenly takes a turn into fantasy—Amy has peeked under the bed, found the monster (``Hepzibah''), and made friends with it. Her brash cousins are appropriately impressed and subdued. Bizarre but amiable-looking Hepzibah is an effective metaphor for the qualities that would indeed earn the respect of the daunting cousins—especially as seen in Denton's vividly expressive illustrations. An unusual variation on a popular theme; vulnerable-looking Amy proves to be commendably assertive and resourceful. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: May 1, 1991

ISBN: 0-670-82748-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1991


The Buehners retell the old familiar tale with a jump-roping, rhyme-spouting Goldilocks. When their porridge proves to be too hot to eat, the bear family goes for a stroll. Meanwhile, Goldilocks comes knocking to find a jump-roping friend. This Goldilocks does not simply test out the chairs: “Big chair, middle chair, little chair, too, / Somebody’s here to bounce on you!” And so continues the old favorite, interspersed with Goldilocks’s jump-rope verse. When she escapes through the bedroom window, none of the characters are sure what sort of creature they have just encountered. The Buehner’s homey illustrations perfectly capture the facial expressions of the characters, and lend a particular kind of mischief to Goldilocks. Readers may miss the message on the copyright page, but hidden within each picture are three creatures, instantly adding challenge and appeal. Cute, but there’s not quite enough new here to make it a must. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2007

ISBN: 0-8037-2939-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2007


A book that will make young dog-owners smile in recognition and confirm dogless readers' worst suspicions about the mayhem caused by pets, even winsome ones. Sam, who bears passing resemblance to an affable golden retriever, is praised for fetching the family newspaper, and goes on to fetch every other newspaper on the block. In the next story, only the children love Sam's swimming; he is yelled at by lifeguards and fishermen alike when he splashes through every watering hole he can find. Finally, there is woe to the entire family when Sam is bored and lonely for one long night. Boland has an essential message, captured in both both story and illustrations of this Easy-to-Read: Kids and dogs belong together, especially when it's a fun-loving canine like Sam. An appealing tale. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-8037-1530-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1996

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