A predictable but meaningful children’s tale.



In this series picture book, an unlikely friendship fosters teamwork. 

Chicoree’s Hickory Doc, a German shorthaired pointer living at the Lazy Dog Hacienda, recalls when a crow named Willie fell from the sky. Doc’s daughter Patch and Willie became playmates, which irritated Doc’s brother Zeke. One day, Patch asked the crow to play near a swimming pool. When Willie said it was dangerous, she called him “chicken.” Insulted, Willie flew away; Patch stumbled into the water. Doc, unable to swim, helplessly watched his daughter struggle. While Zeke kept watch, Doc and Willie asked black Labrador Newt for help. When Newt said that he was afraid of water, Willie said, “I use [sic] to be scared of flying….One day I flew lower….Now I’m not scared.” Finally, Newt rescued Patch, and the group was unified by their efforts. Harkey (Solitary Toes and Brown-headed Cowbirds, 2019, etc.) delivers a tale that effectively emphasizes a familiar theme of community collaboration. At times, the author includes unnecessary details that are already shown in illustrations, such as the dogs’ physical appearances (“My coat is dark brown with white on my chest”). Returning illustrator Minick’s images are simple and colorful, nicely depicting key moments in the text.

A predictable but meaningful children’s tale.

Pub Date: Dec. 11, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4808-6923-3

Page Count: 38

Publisher: Archway Publishing

Review Posted Online: April 2, 2019

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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...


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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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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