THE FULL BELLY BOWL

A concise and covertly cautionary original folktale is complemented by precise and charming colored-pencil illustrations in this wholly delightful book. When a very old man, who lives in a tiny house at the edge of a forest with his cat, Angelina, rescues a very small man from the jaws of a fox, he is rewarded with a full belly bowl. “You need never know hunger again,” says the tiny note beneath the gift. “Use it wisely or it will be a burden.” Wise use of magical objects isn’t as easy as it sounds. The bowl recreates its contents in quantity, and at first that’s enough stew to sate man and cat; readers see it in a sequence of stills atop a spread of man and cat happily sleeping it off. The very old man neglects to turn over the bowl, however, and a spider that creeps in overnight is duplicated in spades. The man realizes that the bowl duplicates whatever is in it: his single copper penny, then an errant mouse, then cats to catch the mice, until the bowl is knocked to the floor where it shatters. The magic is gone, but the regrets are few in this thoroughly realized, easy-to-cherish tale. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-689-81033-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1999

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

THE COLORS OF US

This vibrant, thoughtful book from Katz (Over the Moon, 1997) continues her tribute to her adopted daughter, Lena, born in Guatemala. Lena is “seven. I am the color of cinnamon. Mom says she could eat me up”; she learns during a painting lesson that to get the color brown, she will have to “mix red, yellow, black, and white paints.” They go for a walk to observe the many shades of brown: they see Sonia, who is the color of creamy peanut butter; Isabella, who is chocolate brown; Lucy, both peachy and tan; Jo-Jin, the color of honey; Kyle, “like leaves in fall”; Mr. Pellegrino, the color of pizza crust, golden brown. Lena realizes that every shade is beautiful, then mixes her paints accordingly for portraits of her friends—“The colors of us!” Bold illustrations celebrate diversity with a child’s open-hearted sensibility and a mother’s love. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-8050-5864-8

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1999

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

THERE'S A WARDROBE IN MY MONSTER!

Small, saucy Martha is not a child to put in pink. She wears black-and-white, highly graphic dresses, including one long-sleeved number with a bull’s-eye on the belly. She has mastered the management of her boring goldfish, somnolent cat, and clueless dog, and she opines that it is high time to acquire a large, ugly monster. Forthwith, she marches out with her piggy-bank. The nearest pet shop stocks only small monsters, but one green fellow has an pleasingly awful grin. It’s a done deal: “Keep the pig,” Martha says as she exits with her purchase. Martha knows that the monster eats only wood, but she doesn’t know that twigs will be followed by branches, planks from the dog’s dismantled kennel, her bed legs, and her bottom drawer. As the monster grows, so does its appetite, until the only place left to put it is in the wardrobe—which it promptly eats. Enough is enough for Martha, but the pet shop man offers only exchanges; against his advice, Martha selects an egg with green and purple splotches. As the original monster gets pushed out the back door, readers will delight in the dreadful possibilities inherent in this twist. It’s a romp of a tale to read aloud, with a tongue-in-cheek text; the vigorous pictures more than support and extend this illustrious excursion into the consequences of pet ownership. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 1999

ISBN: 1-57505-414-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Lerner

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1999

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more