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A sweet sibling outing, in both senses of the word.

Art-loving Louise and her little brother, Art, cook up creative treats for the first-grade bake sale in this early-reader offering.

Throughout the book, which features a first-person text with controlled vocabulary, an unmentioned black cat accompanies bespectacled Louise and her robot-costumed brother, adding visual interest to the pictures. The opening spreads depict Louise with Art as she expresses her love for art of all kinds. “I see art in everything!” she exclaims while reading a baking cookbook. The next page depicts a notice on the refrigerator for contributions to a bake sale to fund a field trip. The children, who are both depicted as white with light skin, set out to bake and decorate “a rainbow of cupcakes.” They start with primary colors for the frosting and then mix them together for more options, but the process goes awry when Art combines too many colors and they end up with big bowls of gray frosting. “At least they taste good, even if they don’t look like art,” Louise generously states. Her eureka moment arrives when she repeats the phrase “Look like Art,” and a first-person visual perspective shows her comparing the gray-frosted cupcakes with the gray-helmeted Art. Inspired, Louise adds confectionary embellishments to the cupcakes, which make them look like little robots, too, and the “ROBO CAKES” are a hit at the bake sale.

A sweet sibling outing, in both senses of the word. (Early reader. 5-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-236366-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2017

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Very young gardeners will need more information, but for certain picky eaters, the suggested strategy just might work.

A young spinach hater becomes a spinach lover after she has to grow her own in a class garden.

Unable to trade away the seed packet she gets from her teacher for tomatoes, cukes or anything else more palatable, Sylvia reluctantly plants and nurtures a pot of the despised veggie then transplants it outside in early spring. By the end of school, only the plot’s lettuce, radishes and spinach are actually ready to eat (talk about a badly designed class project!)—and Sylvia, once she nerves herself to take a nibble, discovers that the stuff is “not bad.” She brings home an armful and enjoys it from then on in every dish: “And that was the summer Sylvia Spivens said yes to spinach.” Raff uses unlined brushwork to give her simple cartoon illustrations a pleasantly freehand, airy look, and though Pryor skips over the (literally, for spinach) gritty details in both the story and an afterword, she does cover gardening basics in a simple and encouraging way.

Very young gardeners will need more information, but for certain picky eaters, the suggested strategy just might work. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Nov. 6, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-9836615-1-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Readers to Eaters

Review Posted Online: Sept. 25, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2012

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            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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