This latest addition to the Engelpuppen Dollies series offers a celebration of celebrations.
Leech (The Dollies Put on a Play, 2014, etc.) offers a work that serves as both a picture book for children and an international look-book for doll collectors. It continues the format established in her previous book: color photographs of costumed dolls on custom sets, with all the details—from the hairdos to the props—inviting close study. The dolls all look like young children, carefully costumed and coiffed to match their countries of origin. Each spread depicts a celebration particular to a single country or region—one for each month of the year, plus New Year’s Day. The text provides a caption for each photograph, offering a short description of the holiday at hand. It covers the Chinese New Year, Brazilian Carnival, Japan’s Doll Festival (or Hinamatsuri), Australia and New Zealand’s ANZAC Day, and France’s Bastille Day, among others. For some holidays, a photographic backdrop helps create the air of an authentic location in the Outback, the Irish countryside or London. But readers may wonder about the author’s choice to present the dolls as residents of each locale, when a close look at their faces reveals serious limits to their diversity—take away the clothes, the hair, and the skin tone, and they all simply look like Caucasian toddlers. The costumes, settings and props are all exquisite. However, the author clearly paid less attention to details in the text itself. For example, the book incorrectly claims that Brazil’s Carnival is celebrated “forty days before Easter”; it’s actually celebrated up to six days prior to Ash Wednesday, which is 46 days before Easter. Less important, but misleading, is the assignment of Chinese New Year and Carnival to months in which they don’t always take place—Chinese New Year will be in February in 2015, for example.

A children’s book that’s strong on beauty, but a bit weak on facts and authentic diversity.

Pub Date: Nov. 3, 2014

ISBN: 978-0984913398

Page Count: 34

Publisher: The Home Press

Review Posted Online: Dec. 9, 2014

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The book is perfect for read-alouds, with occasional, often onomatopoeic Spanish words such as “quiquiriquí,” “tacatac” and...


Inspired by Colombian librarian Luis Soriano Bohórquez, Brown’s latest tells of a little girl whose wish comes true when a librarian and two book-laden burros visit her remote village.

Ana loves to read and spends all of her free time either reading alone or to her younger brother. She knows every word of the one book she owns. Although she uses her imagination to create fantastical bedtime tales for her brother, she really wants new books to read. Everything changes when a traveling librarian and his two donkeys, Alfa and Beto, arrive in the village. Besides loaning books to the children until his next visit, the unnamed man also reads them stories and teaches the younger children the alphabet. When Ana suggests that someone write a book about the traveling library, he encourages her to complete this task herself. After she reads her library books, Ana writes her own story for the librarian and gives it to him upon his reappearance—and he makes it part of his biblioburro collection. Parra’s colorful folk-style illustrations of acrylics on board bring Ana’s real and imaginary worlds to life. This is a child-centered complement to Jeanette Winter’s Biblioburro (2010), which focuses on Soriano.

The book is perfect for read-alouds, with occasional, often onomatopoeic Spanish words such as “quiquiriquí,” “tacatac” and “iii-aah” adding to the fun.   (author’s note, glossary of Spanish terms) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: July 12, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-58246-353-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tricycle

Review Posted Online: June 6, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2011

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This companion piece to the other fairy tales Marcia Brown has interpreted (see Puss In Boots, 1952, p. 548 and others) has the smoothness of a good translation and a unique charm to her feathery light pictures. The pictures have been done in sunset colors and the spreads on each page as they illustrate the story have the cumulative effect of soft cloud banks. Gentle.

Pub Date: June 15, 1954

ISBN: 0684126761

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1954

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