Another successful collaboration that will win minds and hearts.

READ REVIEW

SPIRIT OF THE CHEETAH

A SOMALI TALE

Roblay wants to win the big race to prove he is a man; will his grandfather’s advice lead him to success?

Mohammed and Williams (Four Feet, Two Sandals, illustrated by Doug Chayka, 2007) team up again to tell a tale of a boy in Somalia who draws on tradition to excel. After irritating many with his constant practice, running everywhere, Roblay does not win a top spot in the village race. Disappointed, he gets advice from his grandfather, Awoowo, who tells him he must capture the spirit of the mighty Shabelle River by leaving his thumbprint on the coat of a cheetah, for which the river is named. All year long, Roblay watches the cheetah from the opposite side of the river, studying her movements, running when she runs. On the morning of the next year’s race, Roblay has just one thing left to do to guarantee his success. Roblay’s personal goal, his supportive family, and his rich cultural tradition weave together in a lovely story of determination and perseverance. Cairns’ illustrations use delicate strokes to depict vast, green natural landscapes, simple homes, and dignified people who respect the local wildlife. Readers will delight in the suspense and satisfaction that build and bind this layered tale.

Another successful collaboration that will win minds and hearts. (cheetah facts) (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-937786-85-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Wisdom Tales

Review Posted Online: Dec. 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2021

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A $16.99 Mother’s Day card for cat lovers.

MOMMIES ARE AMAZING

The team of Costain and Lovšin (Daddies are Awesome, 2016) gives moms their due.

Rhyming verses tell of all the ways moms are amazing: “Mommies are magic. / They kiss away troubles… // …find gold in the sunlight / and rainbows in bubbles.” Moms are joyful—the best playmates. They are also fearless and will protect and soothe if you are scared. Clever moms know just what to do when you’re sad, sporty moms run and leap and climb, while tender moms cuddle. “My mommy’s so special. / I tell her each day… // … just how much I love her / in every way!” Whereas dads were illustrated with playful pups and grown-up dogs in the previous book, moms are shown as cats with their kittens in myriad colors, sizes, and breeds. Lovšin’s cats look as though they are smiling at each other in their fun, though several spreads are distractingly cut in half by the gutter. However delightful the presentation—the verse rolls fairly smoothly, and the cats are pretty cute—the overall effect is akin to a cream puff’s: very sweet and insubstantial.

A $16.99 Mother’s Day card for cat lovers. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-62779-651-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: March 20, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2017

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This heartwarming story of a boy and his beloved dog opens the door for further study of our 16th president.

HONEY, THE DOG WHO SAVED ABE LINCOLN

A slice of Abraham Lincoln’s childhood life is explored through a fictionalized anecdote about his dog Honey.

When 7-year-old Abe rescues a golden-brown dog with a broken leg, he takes the pup home to the Lincolns’ cabin in Knob Creek, Kentucky. Honey follows Abe everywhere, including trailing after his owner into a deep cave. When Abe gets stuck between rocks, Honey goes for help and leads a search party back to the trapped boy for a dramatic rescue. The source for this story was a book incorporating the memories of Abe’s boyhood friend, explained in an author’s note. The well-paced text includes invented dialogue attributed to Abe and his parents. Abe’s older sister, Sarah, is not mentioned in the text and is shown in the illustrations as a little girl younger than Abe. All the characters present white save for one black man in the rescue crew. An oversized format and multiple double-page spreads provide plenty of space for cartoon-style illustrations of the Lincoln cabin, the surrounding countryside, and the spooky cave where Abe was trapped. This story focuses on the incident in the cave and Abe’s rescue; a more complete look at Lincoln’s life is included in an appended timeline and the author’s note, both of which include references to Lincoln’s kindness to animals and to other pets he owned.

This heartwarming story of a boy and his beloved dog opens the door for further study of our 16th president. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-269900-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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