WHICH WITCH IS WHICH?

A rhyming seek and find makes this book a sure bet for a cozy read-aloud. On the right-hand side, Collicott’s (Toestomper and the Caterpillars, 1999, etc.) animal witches fill the page, each unique and with its own witchy hat. They are hard at work, acting, eating, sewing, playing . . . and making trouble. On the left-hand page, Barrett (I Knew Two Who Said Moo, 2000, etc.) presents a mystery—“Which witch is learning to stitch?” and four rhyming questions to help the reader pinpoint the correct witch in the illustration—“Is it the one wearing socks? / Is it the one eating lox?” While in many cases it is obvious which witch it is, the questions give the reader other details to look for in the pictures. And a good thing, too, since many of the activities will be unknown to children on the first reading. The text has the added bonus of highlighting all the rhyming words in colorful fonts, as well as introducing new ones—lean, glum, smug, lox, and nook, among others. Children will delight in the detailed drawings—new things will appear with each reading, and with the text as a model, they will get better and better at describing what they see. A clever and fun book that will have kids learning without even knowing it. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-689-82940-X

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2001

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THE KOREAN CINDERELLA

A retelling based on three of the ``half a dozen'' Korean Cinderella variants: ``Pear Blossom's'' stepmother calls her ``Little Pig,'' barely feeds her, and assigns her impossible tasks (filling a cracked jug), but the girl is helped by magical animals (a giant ox that weeds a rice paddy for her). A young magistrate, ``struck by her beauty,'' identifies her at a village festival by her lost sandal, and thus she makes an honorable marriage. The simple tale is retold in a vigorous, rather dramatic style. Heller, whose illustrations are based on her research in Korea, offers bold montages of figures and patterns in a striking array of intense colors. Her facial expressions are less expertly crafted than her realistic animals, sculptural draperies, and decorative traditional motifs, while the mix of styles leads to some cluttered effects; still, an attractive setting for a worthy variant. (Folklore/Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: May 30, 1993

ISBN: 0-06-020432-X

Page Count: 48

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1993

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Only for dedicated fans of the series.

HOW TO CATCH A MONSTER

From the How to Catch… series

When a kid gets the part of the ninja master in the school play, it finally seems to be the right time to tackle the closet monster.

“I spot my monster right away. / He’s practicing his ROAR. / He almost scares me half to death, / but I won’t be scared anymore!” The monster is a large, fluffy poison-green beast with blue hands and feet and face and a fluffy blue-and-green–striped tail. The kid employs a “bag of tricks” to try to catch the monster: in it are a giant wind-up shark, two cans of silly string, and an elaborate cage-and-robot trap. This last works, but with an unexpected result: the monster looks sad. Turns out he was only scaring the boy to wake him up so they could be friends. The monster greets the boy in the usual monster way: he “rips a massive FART!!” that smells like strawberries and lime, and then they go to the monster’s house to meet his parents and play. The final two spreads show the duo getting ready for bed, which is a rather anticlimactic end to what has otherwise been a rambunctious tale. Elkerton’s bright illustrations have a TV-cartoon aesthetic, and his playful beast is never scary. The narrator is depicted with black eyes and hair and pale skin. Wallace’s limping verses are uninspired at best, and the scansion and meter are frequently off.

Only for dedicated fans of the series. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4926-4894-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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