TALE OF A TAIL by Judit Z. Bodn†r


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 3 - 8
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Bodn†r (A Wagonload of Fish, 1996) demonstrates how false friends can still be helpful, despite their worst intentions. A fish-glutted fox has just scored a basketful of trout at the local fishing hole and repaired to his den to tuck in when his friend the bear materializes outside the door. The bear pleads for a portion, the greedy fox refuses, but, to be rid of the nuisance, tells the bear to catch his own by sticking his tail in the lake overnight. Unfortunately, the lake freezes over, and in the morning the bear must drag along the whole body of water as he struggles toward the fox’s den to give him a piece of his mind; his rage is a source of strength. In the meantime, the sun is rising and the ice is thawing. On the bear toils until he gets stuck between two trees, and notices that the lake is slowly melting, forming a stream, and in it are plenty of fish. With the fox off the hook and the bear sated, the story grinds to a halt without a real turning point; the story is resolved simplistically despite the hints that it will take on epic, or at least tall-tale, proportions. Sandford’s attractive illustrations have Jan Brett-like folkloric details, and work well within the restrictions of the story—the two main characters never meet, and the third character (the lake) is not assigned personality or substance. (Picture book/folklore. 3-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-688-12174-8
Page count: 48pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1998

Kirkus Interview
John Sandford
author of SATURN RUN
October 6, 2015

Saturn Run, John Sandford’s new novel, is quite a departure for the bestselling thriller writer, who sets aside his Lucas Davenport crime franchise (Gathering Prey, 2015, etc.) and partners with photographer and sci-fi buff Ctein to leave Earth’s gravitational field for the rings of Saturn. The year is 2066. A Caltech intern inadvertently notices an anomaly from a space telescope—something is approaching Saturn, and decelerating. Space objects don’t decelerate; spaceships do. A flurry of top-level government meetings produces the inescapable conclusion: whatever built that ship is at least 100 years ahead in hard and soft technology, and whoever can get their hands on it exclusively and bring it back will have an advantage so large, no other nation can compete. A conclusion the Chinese definitely agree with when they find out. The race is on. “James Bond meets Tom Swift, with the last word reserved not for extraterrestrial encounters but for international piracy, state secrets, and a spot of satisfyingly underhanded political pressure,” our reviewer writes. View video >


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