This tale will surely empower creative youngsters to celebrate their sense of play—and encourage parents to support their...


A preschooler impersonates a series of different characters in this debut picture book.

A blond white child named Declan (which readers learn only from the title) begins his day as Shaggy, a dog who likes to snuggle with his father. Soon, it’s time to be CatBoy, racing to his toys. Then, when Mama needs help with the garbage, he turns into Recycling Man. Declan transforms for each of his tasks, becoming Trunky the elephant to enjoy a snack and a T-Rex in time to floss. Lauder, a counselor, creates a realistic depiction of how an imaginative child’s mind works, flowing seamlessly from game to game—and allowing family members to join in and embrace his metamorphoses. The images by debut illustrator Sicolo always show Declan’s face, allowing his inventive guises to appear as costumes on each spread. The spare use of color and distinct black outlines encourage young readers to fill in their own hues, action, and whimsy as they read. The last spread finally reveals Declan as a sleepy boy, envisioning a beluga whale singing him to sleep, making this a potential bedtime favorite for families to read together.

This tale will surely empower creative youngsters to celebrate their sense of play—and encourage parents to support their children’s inner worlds.

Pub Date: Feb. 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5255-3608-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: FriesenPress

Review Posted Online: May 2, 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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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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