A visually distinct, original, pleasing bedtime book that has the feel of a classic

STORIES OF THE NIGHT

A quirky charmer of a bedtime book.

The eponymous stories are not books read to a child—rather, Crowther’s Mother Bear tells Little Bear three stories orally. It’s clear this is a familiar routine in their cozy home in the woods, since Little Bear asks for each story with descriptions that indicate familiarity: “The one that says it’s time to go to sleep,” and “The little girl with a sword who gets lost,” and “The one with the man in a big coat who never sleeps!” Mother Bear indulges each request, and the accompanying illustrations shift from depictions of the two of them in Little Bear’s room to ones that present each story’s world. While the palette is remarkably distinct, with a bright pink dominating the cover and highlighting interior spreads, the art style has a subtle, fantastic feel to it, as if it stepped out of Tove Jansson’s work—or as if a Moomin could easily step into them. At the book’s end, Little Bear imagines all the story characters coming to cuddle up in bed, and then Mother Bear goes to sit by the fire. In this closing spread she holds a book, its cover illustrated with those same characters, offering the reader a cozy metafictive conclusion.

A visually distinct, original, pleasing bedtime book that has the feel of a classic . (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-776571-97-0

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Gecko Press

Review Posted Online: June 11, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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THE GIRL WHO LOVED WILD HORSES

            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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A rollicking tale of rivalry.

IT HAPPENED ON SWEET STREET

Sweet Street had just one baker, Monsieur Oliphant, until two new confectionists move in, bringing a sugar rush of competition and customers.

First comes “Cookie Concocter par excellence” Mademoiselle Fee and then a pie maker, who opens “the divine Patisserie Clotilde!” With each new arrival to Sweet Street, rivalries mount and lines of hungry treat lovers lengthen. Children will delight in thinking about an abundance of gingerbread cookies, teetering, towering cakes, and blackbird pies. Wonderfully eccentric line-and-watercolor illustrations (with whites and marbled pastels like frosting) appeal too. Fine linework lends specificity to an off-kilter world in which buildings tilt at wacky angles and odd-looking (exclusively pale) people walk about, their pantaloons, ruffles, long torsos, and twiglike arms, legs, and fingers distinguishing them as wonderfully idiosyncratic. Rotund Monsieur Oliphant’s periwinkle complexion, flapping ears, and elongated nose make him look remarkably like an elephant while the women confectionists appear clownlike, with exaggerated lips, extravagantly lashed eyes, and voluminous clothes. French idioms surface intermittently, adding a certain je ne sais quoi. Embedded rhymes contribute to a bouncing, playful narrative too: “He layered them and cherried them and married people on them.” Tension builds as the cul de sac grows more congested with sweet-makers, competition, frustration, and customers. When the inevitable, fantastically messy food fight occurs, an observant child finds a sweet solution amid the delicious detritus.

A rollicking tale of rivalry. (Picture book. 4-8 )

Pub Date: July 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-101-91885-2

Page Count: 44

Publisher: Tundra Books

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2020

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