A lovely, imaginative tale for the young and young at heart.


Maggie and the Sprinkle Tree

A young girl’s dreams come true in this imaginative debut children’s book.

Maggie is your typical 7-and-3/4-year old. She’s nearly three inches “taller than average,” which she loves, and she enjoys exploring, using her “jump rope as a lasso,” and mixing various items together—from different kinds of socks to potatoes and peas. One day, she mixes up something that’s just a little bit out of the ordinary: a combination of water, sugar, pink lemonade, and a few other ordinary ingredients. She spills this concoction on a tree in the backyard before she can dump it into her favorite red bucket and, disappointed, heads off to bed. That night, Maggie awakes to a crackling sound and rises to find that her tree is now completely covered in colorful, sweet sprinkles. She collects them in buckets, cups, and jars, plays with them, and eats them until she nearly gets sick. When she wakes the next morning, though, the sprinkles are gone. Or are they? A small, fuzzy squirrel in the backyard may indicate otherwise. Bray’s delightful debut children’s book is appropriate for kids and adults of all ages, and it’s sure to brighten many bedtime rituals. Maggie is a darling, precocious character (without being too much so), and her ingenuity is remarkable. Her story is also relatable—what child doesn’t like to mix up mud pies and play outside all day? The text includes a recipe for the potion that created the sprinkle tree, and young readers may want to mix it up for themselves. They may be disappointed when a sprinkle tree doesn’t result, but industrious parents can surely figure out a way to make some magic of their own. Jackson’s illustrations are wildly imaginative and vivid, and they bring Maggie’s tale, including her amazing botanical creation, to life. Arrows and text that highlight specific portions of the illustrations are a fun touch, and they make each page engaging and enjoyable. Bray and Jackson are a dazzling duo, and additional books in this series would surely be welcome.

A lovely, imaginative tale for the young and young at heart.

Pub Date: Feb. 26, 2014

ISBN: 978-0991396207

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Tumbling Acorn Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2015

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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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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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