Handsome, evocative pen-and-wash artwork transports this merry adventure tale to impressive heights. Young Bubble is shipped to his aged cousins for a week while his parents are away. The two grizzled characters take the boy under wing and for entertainment, they build a model sailboat Bubble has brought along. The instructions say to put the finished model in water for it to attain full size. Sure enough, the next morning the ship is ocean-worthy, so the three set sail. Bubble is the captain, old man Granstrom is the cook (and a rotten one at first, given to such oaths as “glutinous glowworm” and “rubbery rattlesnake” when he burns the baloney), while Herring August stands lookout. Their minor exploits (including a stint as pirates, stealing a candy bar and red pencil) come to a close when the oatmeal runs out. They return home, dry off the boat, and now it sits on their mantle waiting for the next adventure. A fine blend of fantasy and tongue-in-cheek enterprise, with engaging characters, a mellow mood for all the adventure (this book could serve as a lullaby), and steady pacing, all knit together with Kruusval’s excellent detailed illustrations. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: April 18, 2001

ISBN: 91-29-65348-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: R&S/Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2001

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It takes a village to make a school. In Chad, big brothers and sisters lead the way for younger children on the first day of school. Little Thomas is full of questions. When he and the other children arrive, there are no classrooms and no desks. But the teacher's there, holding a trowel. "We will build our school," she declares. Everyone sets to work, making mud bricks that dry in the sun and a roof out of grass and saplings. Thomas loves his lessons; every day he learns something new. At the end of the school year, the minds of the students "are fat with knowledge." And just in time: The rainy season arrives and makes short work of the schoolhouse. Come September, they'll start all over. Rumford's illustrations make great use of color, dark brown skin and bright shirts, shorts and dresses against golden backgrounds, the hues applied in smudgy layers that infuse each scene with warmth—until the gray rains arrive. It's a nifty social-studies lesson tucked into a warm tale of community. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-547-24307-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: Oct. 1, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2010

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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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