A wholesome, often charming example of children’s historical fiction.


The Legend of Objee


In this fun historical picture book, three children enjoy a silly story of the U.S. Coast Guard’s pet bear.

Grace, Charlie and Henry ask their grandfather to read them their beloved book, The Legend of Objee. As he reads the illustrated tale, the children occasionally stop to imitate the silly behavior of the main character: a pet bear. Objee, short for objectionable presence, is rescued by Cadet Evans and brought to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy to serve as a mascot. Hijinks begin as soon as Objee is sworn in as a cadet herself; the bugles of the call to colors send her scrambling up a tree, where the academy’s superintendent hears her whining. Objee spends her days exercising with the cadets and chewing their books (here, little Charlie gnaws a book for laughs until Grandfather stops him), but the pristine cadets have trouble having a “stinky” bear in their company. One morning, Cadet Evans is found sleeping next to Objee with the buttons from his cadet jacket missing. (Grandfather explains that Objee ate the buttons, thinking they were berries.) The bear also serves as a mascot at football games; an attempt by the rival team to kidnap her goes awry when Objee begins to eat her kidnappers’ van from the inside out. Other events in Objee’s life seem a bit cruel; for example, cadets bribe her to enter the shower before the water is turned on, which makes her angry. Grandfather, however, explains that Objee embodies the “strength, character and devotion” of the Coast Guard. Simple, realistic illustrations accompany the text, showing Objee in her all of her mischief, but some show inconsistencies. For example, the story reads that Objee would consider anyone “not dressed in Coast Guard blue” as an intruder, but a Marine she startles on the next page is wearing blue. A final page features photographs of the real-life Objee, giving background to the “legend.” However, some vocabulary—words such as “suspiciously” and terms such as “brig”—may be slightly advanced for very young readers.

A wholesome, often charming example of children’s historical fiction. 

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: 978-0988999701

Page Count: 30

Publisher: Dancing Quahog Publishing

Review Posted Online: June 14, 2013

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More gift book than storybook, this is a meaningful addition to nursery bookshelves


A young child explores the unlimited potential inherent in all humans.

“Have you ever wondered why you are here?” asks the second-person narration. There is no one like you. Maybe you’re here to make a difference with your uniqueness; maybe you will speak for those who can’t or use your gifts to shine a light into the darkness. The no-frills, unrhymed narrative encourages readers to follow their hearts and tap into their limitless potential to be anything and do anything. The precisely inked and colored artwork plays with perspective from the first double-page spread, in which the child contemplates a mountain (or maybe an iceberg) in their hands. Later, they stand on a ladder to place white spots on tall, red mushrooms. The oversized flora and fauna seem to symbolize the presumptively insurmountable, reinforcing the book’s message that anything is possible. This quiet read, with its sophisticated central question, encourages children to reach for their untapped potential while reminding them it won’t be easy—they will make messes and mistakes—but the magic within can help overcome falls and failures. It’s unlikely that members of the intended audience have begun to wonder about their life’s purpose, but this life-affirming mood piece has honorable intentions. The child, accompanied by an adorable piglet and sporting overalls and a bird-beaked cap made of leaves, presents white.

More gift book than storybook, this is a meaningful addition to nursery bookshelves . (Picture book. 2-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-946873-75-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: May 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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The greening of Dr. Seuss, in an ecology fable with an obvious message but a savingly silly style. In the desolate land of the Lifted Lorax, an aged creature called the Once-ler tells a young visitor how he arrived long ago in the then glorious country and began manufacturing anomalous objects called Thneeds from "the bright-colored tufts of the Truffula Trees." Despite protests from the Lorax, a native "who speaks for the trees," he continues to chop down Truffulas until he drives away the Brown Bar-ba-loots who had fed on the Tuffula fruit, the Swomee-Swans who can't sing a note for the smogulous smoke, and the Humming-Fish who had hummed in the pond now glumped up with Gluppity-Glupp. As for the Once-let, "1 went right on biggering, selling more Thneeds./ And I biggered my money, which everyone needs" — until the last Truffula falls. But one seed is left, and the Once-let hands it to his listener, with a message from the Lorax: "UNLESS someone like you/ cares a whole awful lot,/ nothing is going to get better./ It's not." The spontaneous madness of the old Dr. Seuss is absent here, but so is the boredom he often induced (in parents, anyway) with one ridiculous invention after another. And if the Once-let doesn't match the Grinch for sheer irresistible cussedness, he is stealing a lot more than Christmas and his story just might induce a generation of six-year-olds to care a whole lot.

Pub Date: Aug. 12, 1971

ISBN: 0394823370

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1971

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