An often charming kids’ book that provides a model for family engagement in girls’ sports.



This picture book aims to inspire young children with its story of a young girl who turns her dream into reality through hard work.

Mackey’s debut effort centers on Sally, an athletic girl growing up in an athletic family for which biking, running and swimming are the stuff of summer vacation. “If you can dream it…and if you work hard at it…you can do whatever you set your mind to do,” her mother tells her. Sally’s dream unfolds step by step: She first joins the same swim team as her brother, Ryan, and bikes to swim practice with him and their mother. Ryan also runs, so Sally does too. Then her mother participates in a triathlon—a sport that incorporates swimming, biking and running—and this inspires Sally to try to run the race herself. After a summer of practice, Sally and her best friend, Cindy, finally tackle the triathlon. With her family watching, Sally wins her first triathlon “Finisher” medal; Cindy gets one, as well. The two girls aren’t competitive with each other, however; they end the book by saying, “There is no one I would rather race with than you!” This picture book differs from others in that its main character is slightly older than its target audience, presenting to readers possibilities that are currently beyond their capabilities. It also shows young people that such dreams are not beyond hope. The visually appealing text uses a typeface that’s similar to hand-printing, and the simple sentences and repetition are clearly aimed at a young audience. The illustrations appear to combine watercolor, ink and marker to create a bright, fresh look. However, on some pages, the characters shown don’t appear to match the people mentioned in the text; on others, Sally’s brother and her father look extremely similar, and Sally’s mother looks like a teenager, which may confuse young readers. Some parents may also wish that Sally had a bookshelf in her bedroom.

An often charming kids’ book that provides a model for family engagement in girls’ sports.

Pub Date: Aug. 29, 2013

ISBN: 978-1483667591

Page Count: 42

Publisher: Xlibris

Review Posted Online: June 4, 2014

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The book is perfect for read-alouds, with occasional, often onomatopoeic Spanish words such as “quiquiriquí,” “tacatac” and...


Inspired by Colombian librarian Luis Soriano Bohórquez, Brown’s latest tells of a little girl whose wish comes true when a librarian and two book-laden burros visit her remote village.

Ana loves to read and spends all of her free time either reading alone or to her younger brother. She knows every word of the one book she owns. Although she uses her imagination to create fantastical bedtime tales for her brother, she really wants new books to read. Everything changes when a traveling librarian and his two donkeys, Alfa and Beto, arrive in the village. Besides loaning books to the children until his next visit, the unnamed man also reads them stories and teaches the younger children the alphabet. When Ana suggests that someone write a book about the traveling library, he encourages her to complete this task herself. After she reads her library books, Ana writes her own story for the librarian and gives it to him upon his reappearance—and he makes it part of his biblioburro collection. Parra’s colorful folk-style illustrations of acrylics on board bring Ana’s real and imaginary worlds to life. This is a child-centered complement to Jeanette Winter’s Biblioburro (2010), which focuses on Soriano.

The book is perfect for read-alouds, with occasional, often onomatopoeic Spanish words such as “quiquiriquí,” “tacatac” and “iii-aah” adding to the fun.   (author’s note, glossary of Spanish terms) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: July 12, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-58246-353-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tricycle

Review Posted Online: June 6, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2011

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This companion piece to the other fairy tales Marcia Brown has interpreted (see Puss In Boots, 1952, p. 548 and others) has the smoothness of a good translation and a unique charm to her feathery light pictures. The pictures have been done in sunset colors and the spreads on each page as they illustrate the story have the cumulative effect of soft cloud banks. Gentle.

Pub Date: June 15, 1954

ISBN: 0684126761

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1954

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