A twisted take on an old standard that just may have readers rewriting their own favorites.

IT'S NOT HANSEL AND GRETEL

An omniscient narrator battles Hansel and Gretel for control of the story…and loses, to readers’ delight.

At the start, this seems like the standard fairy tale, but it’s not long before the siblings are contradicting the narrator: “What kind of person SAVES bread crumbs?” Gretel asks, and Hansel adds, “It’s a time of great famine. If there are bread crumbs left, we eat them.” These cheeky retorts only grow more numerous as the tale continues. Gretel also flexes her feminist muscles, demanding the title be “Gretel and Hansel” and that she not do chores while Hansel gets fattened up on a candy diet (or swells from a sensitivity to strawberries, as it turns out: “Food allergies are NOT a joke”). Eventually, the narrator gives up trying to fix the tale and gives the two full control, and things quickly get out of hand: Both end up sporting mustaches, there’s a unicorn named Fluffybottom, and the kids are reunited with their completely innocent parents. Taylor’s digital illustrations take the loony text several steps farther, and readers will enjoy the cameos from characters from other familiar tales. Hansel, Gretel, and their parents present white, and the witch is literally white, with a long, pink nose.

A twisted take on an old standard that just may have readers rewriting their own favorites. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5039-0294-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: Nov. 21, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2018

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THE GIRL WHO LOVED WILD HORSES

            There are many parallel legends – the seal women, for example, with their strange sad longings – but none is more direct than this American Indian story of a girl who is carried away in a horses’ stampede…to ride thenceforth by the side of a beautiful stallion who leads the wild horses.  The girl had always loved horses, and seemed to understand them “in a special way”; a year after her disappearance her people find her riding beside the stallion, calf in tow, and take her home despite his strong resistance.  But she is unhappy and returns to the stallion; after that, a beautiful mare is seen riding always beside him.  Goble tells the story soberly, allowing it to settle, to find its own level.  The illustrations are in the familiar striking Goble style, but softened out here and there with masses of flowers and foliage – suitable perhaps for the switch in subject matter from war to love, but we miss the spanking clean design of Custer’s Last Battle and The Fetterman Fight.          6-7

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1978

ISBN: 0689845049

Page Count: -

Publisher: Bradbury

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1978

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An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way.

NOAH CHASES THE WIND

A young boy sees things a little differently than others.

Noah can see patterns in the dust when it sparkles in the sunlight. And if he puts his nose to the ground, he can smell the “green tang of the ants in the grass.” His most favorite thing of all, however, is to read. Noah has endless curiosity about how and why things work. Books open the door to those answers. But there is one question the books do not explain. When the wind comes whistling by, where does it go? Noah decides to find out. In a chase that has a slight element of danger—wind, after all, is unpredictable—Noah runs down streets, across bridges, near a highway, until the wind lifts him off his feet. Cowman’s gusty wisps show each stream of air turning a different jewel tone, swirling all around. The ribbons gently bring Noah home, setting him down under the same thinking tree where he began. Did it really happen? Worthington’s sensitive exploration leaves readers with their own set of questions and perhaps gratitude for all types of perspective. An author’s note mentions children on the autism spectrum but widens to include all who feel a little different.

An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-60554-356-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Redleaf Lane

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

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