An affectionate tribute to some of New York City’s iconic residents and institutions.

THE LIONS AT NIGHT

Patience and Fortitude slip off their plinths in front of the New York Public Library for a Coney Island jaunt.

Joining the gallery of artists who have brought the library’s lions to life, Boehman crafts a wordless sojourn featuring a pair of big cats who turn yellow when the sun goes down. Positively aglow with smiling bonhomie as well as color, they ride the F train (visible to children, unnoticed by the grown-ups) into Brooklyn for a night of fun. In a mix of full-page or -spread illustrations and large sequential panels, the New York scenes start out primarily in monochrome but switch to glittering hues as the lions, sometimes going on two legs, sometimes on four, enjoy hot dogs and ice cream under the bright lights, win a big pink plush bear, ride the Cyclone, visit the beach and the aquarium, and finally make their way back to the subway and home. There, they are greeted by a descendant of their original designer, Edward Clark Potter, illustrated as a dapper librarian who reads them a story and adds the bear to a pile of stuffed toys in his office while the lions climb back onto their perches in the brightening dawn. The art features glimpses of familiar book titles as well as plenty of accurately rendered local details and properly diverse city residents (Potter is white). The illustrator’s closing note fills in historical background on the lions and their creators.

An affectionate tribute to some of New York City’s iconic residents and institutions. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: March 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-937054-78-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: The RoadRunner Press

Review Posted Online: March 5, 2019

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This story covers the few days preceding the much-anticipated Midnight Zombie Walk, when Stink and company will take to the...

STINK AND THE MIDNIGHT ZOMBIE WALK

From the Stink series

An all-zombie-all-the-time zombiefest, featuring a bunch of grade-school kids, including protagonist Stink and his happy comrades.

This story covers the few days preceding the much-anticipated Midnight Zombie Walk, when Stink and company will take to the streets in the time-honored stiff-armed, stiff-legged fashion. McDonald signals her intent on page one: “Stink and Webster were playing Attack of the Knitting Needle Zombies when Fred Zombie’s eye fell off and rolled across the floor.” The farce is as broad as the Atlantic, with enough spookiness just below the surface to provide the all-important shivers. Accompanied by Reynolds’ drawings—dozens of scene-setting gems with good, creepy living dead—McDonald shapes chapters around zombie motifs: making zombie costumes, eating zombie fare at school, reading zombie books each other to reach the one-million-minutes-of-reading challenge. When the zombie walk happens, it delivers solid zombie awfulness. McDonald’s feel-good tone is deeply encouraging for readers to get up and do this for themselves because it looks like so much darned fun, while the sub-message—that reading grows “strong hearts and minds,” as well as teeth and bones—is enough of a vital interest to the story line to be taken at face value.

Pub Date: March 13, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7636-5692-8

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2012

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Teachers will certainly find themselves wishing for their own arsenal of supplies to help them with their grading, and...

THE LITTLE RED PEN

Obviously inspired by "The Little Red Hen," this goes beyond the foundation tale's basic moral about work ethic to explore problem solving, teamwork and doing one’s best.

Nighttime at school brings the Little Red Pen out of the drawer to correct papers, usually aided by other common school supplies. But not this time. Too afraid of being broken, worn out, dull, lost or, worst of all, put in the “Pit of No Return” (aka trash), they hide in the drawer despite the Little Red Pen’s insistence that the world will end if the papers do not get corrected. But even with her drive she cannot do it all herself—her efforts send her to the Pit. It takes the ingenuity and cooperation of every desk supply to accomplish her rescue and to get all the papers graded, thereby saving the world. The authors work in lots of clever wordplay that will appeal to adult readers, as will the spicy character of Chincheta, the Mexican pushpin. Stevens’ delightfully expressive desk supplies were created with paint, ink and plenty of real school supplies. Without a doubt, she has captured their true personalities: the buck-toothed stapler, bespectacled scissors and rather empty-headed eraser.

Teachers will certainly find themselves wishing for their own arsenal of supplies to help them with their grading, and students may take a second glance at that innocuous-looking red pen on the teacher’s desk. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 18, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-15-206432-7

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: April 6, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2011

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