Children will love Gracie’s actions and expressions and will eagerly ask for rereads so they can chant along with the...

READ REVIEW

Too Hot to Moo

What’s a cow to do when her family gets a pool and she’s left alone in her sunny field? Debut author Henwood’s and veteran illustrator Lemaire’s hilarious answer is a delightfully fun read-aloud.

Gracie the cow is so hot she can’t even moo. When she hears the construction on the human side of the fence, she’s curious. What are those construction vehicles doing dumping gray sludge into a big hole in the yard? Young readers will figure out what’s happening before the bovine: the farm family is getting their very own swimming pool to cool off in in the wicked heat. While the farm kids do pour water over Gracie, the relief is short, so when she realizes that the pool is a constant source of water, she charges through the fence and lets out a tremendous “MOO!” before doing “a perfect udder flop right into the deep end!” Not only does she get the water in the pool all muddy, she pees in the shallow end, a gross-out detail sure to delight kids. Despite all the family’s coaxing, once Gracie is in the pool, she intends to stay there, and it takes police cars, a water pump truck, and a crane to move her back to her own side of the fence (which gets fixed while she’s being moved). Once again too hot to moo, Gracie languishes on her side of the fence. But then the construction vehicles are back; this time, however, they’re digging a mud wallow for Gracie. While the story is probably fictional, it feels almost as though it could be real, and kids will enjoy imagining a cow doing a very cowlike dive into a human pool, especially given the gleeful expression on Gracie’s face in Lemaire’s illustration. The only quibble is that the humans are not clearly diverse—and there were opportunities to make them so. Henwood repeats the phrase “Hot, hot, hot, too hot to moo” on several pages throughout the story, giving lap readers a chance to join in chorally and take part in the story. The text design also adds a bonus feature as some of the word layout emphasizes the action: two lines ripple in blue cursive as the water is poured into the pool, and when Gracie breaks through the fence, the text cracks at an angle.

Children will love Gracie’s actions and expressions and will eagerly ask for rereads so they can chant along with the too-hot refrain.

Pub Date: June 2, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4602-6049-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: FriesenPress

Review Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2015

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MORNING GIRL

Like the quiet lap of waves on the sand, the alternating introspections of two Bahamian island children in 1492. Morning Girl and her brother Star Boy are very different: she loves the hush of pre-dawn while he revels in night skies, noise, wind. In many ways they are antagonists, each too young and subjective to understand the other's perspective—in contrast to their mother's appreciation for her brother. In the course of these taut chapters concerning such pivotal events as their mother's losing a child, the arrival of a hurricane, or Star Boy's earning the right to his adult name, they grow closer. In the last, Morning Girl greets— with cordial innocence—a boat full of visitors, unaware that her beautifully balanced and textured life is about to be catalogued as ``very poor in everything,'' her island conquered by Europeans. This paradise is so intensely and believably imagined that the epilogue, quoted from Columbus's diary, sickens with its ominous significance. Subtly, Dorris draws parallels between the timeless chafings of sibs set on changing each other's temperaments and the intrusions of states questing new territory. Saddening, compelling—a novel to be cherished for its compassion and humanity. (Fiction. 8+)

Pub Date: Sept. 14, 1992

ISBN: 1-56282-284-5

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1992

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  • SPONSORED PLACEMENT

One of those rare thrillers whose answers are even more scarifying than its mysteries.

AFTER ALL I'VE DONE

A middle-aged woman sidelined by a horrific accident finds even sharper pains waiting on the other side of her recuperation in this expert nightmare by Hardy, familiar to many readers as Megan Hart, author of All the Secrets We Keep (2017), etc.

Five months ago, while she was on her way to the hospital with an ailing gallbladder, Diana Sparrow’s car hit a deer on a rural Pennsylvania road. When she awoke, she was minus her gallbladder, two working collarbones (and therefore two functioning arms), and her memory. During a recovery that would’ve been impossible without the constant ministrations of Harriett Richmond, the mother-in-law who’s the real reason Diana married her husband, Jonathan, Diana’s discovered that Jonathan has been cheating on her with her childhood friend Valerie Delagatti. Divorce is out of the question: Diana’s grown used to the pampered lifestyle the prenup she’d signed would snatch away from her. Every day is filled with torments. She slips and falls in a pool of wine on her kitchen floor she’s sure she didn’t spill herself. At the emergency room, her credit card and debit card are declined. She feels that she hates oppressively solicitous Harriett but has no idea why. Her sessions with her psychiatrist fail to heal her rage at her adoptive mother, an addict who abandoned her then returned only to disappear again and die an ugly death. Even worse, her attempts to recover her lost memory lead to an excruciatingly paced series of revelations. Val says Diana asked her to seduce Jonathan. Diana realizes that Cole, a fellow student in her watercolor class, isn’t the stranger she’d thought he was. Where can this maze of deceptions possibly end?

One of those rare thrillers whose answers are even more scarifying than its mysteries.

Pub Date: Nov. 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-64385-470-0

Page Count: 310

Publisher: Crooked Lane

Review Posted Online: Aug. 19, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

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An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some...

RALPH TELLS A STORY

With a little help from his audience, a young storyteller gets over a solid case of writer’s block in this engaging debut.

Despite the (sometimes creatively spelled) examples produced by all his classmates and the teacher’s assertion that “Stories are everywhere!” Ralph can’t get past putting his name at the top of his paper. One day, lying under the desk in despair, he remembers finding an inchworm in the park. That’s all he has, though, until his classmates’ questions—“Did it feel squishy?” “Did your mom let you keep it?” “Did you name it?”—open the floodgates for a rousing yarn featuring an interloping toddler, a broad comic turn and a dramatic rescue. Hanlon illustrates the episode with childlike scenes done in transparent colors, featuring friendly-looking children with big smiles and widely spaced button eyes. The narrative text is printed in standard type, but the children’s dialogue is rendered in hand-lettered printing within speech balloons. The episode is enhanced with a page of elementary writing tips and the tantalizing titles of his many subsequent stories (“When I Ate Too Much Spaghetti,” “The Scariest Hamster,” “When the Librarian Yelled Really Loud at Me,” etc.) on the back endpapers.

An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some budding young writers off and running. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2012

ISBN: 978-0761461807

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Amazon Children's Publishing

Review Posted Online: Aug. 22, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2012

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