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A very funny little book about a fairy and the family she elects to live with after they confess they believe in her. On a perfectly normal Sunday, as Caroline and her parents are motoring off to the Natural History Museum, a fairy who calls herself Hilary suddenly appears and asks to join them. She joins the family, too, looking like an ordinary child and behaving like one, at least until Caroline coaxes her into a little fairy magic. She gives the family cat, King Arthur, the power to talk, and makes him invisible so he can go to school with the girls. Her magic makes Halloween a little more wondrous, and helps the girls construct the biggest snowman ever. When they’re invited to a birthday party that features a lame magician, Hilary give him a hand, secretly, and he outperforms himself. A dour plane trip turns into a glorious one with Hilary’s aid, while her work in Caroline’s mother’s garden makes other gardeners jealous. In her wonderful frolic, Strauss mingles ordinary events and enchantment with ease; the fun is complemented by charmingly droll black-and-white drawings. (Fiction. 7-11)

Pub Date: April 15, 1999

ISBN: 0-8234-1418-3

Page Count: 114

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1999

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Wyatt (The Science Book for Girls, 1997, etc.) adopts an alien’s-eye-view of earthlings, comparing the human body with that of a friendly lifeform from outer space. A cartoon anatomical outline charts the alien Danoid’s first encounter with Pete. Danoid labels hands as primary manipulatives, feet as planet connectors, and knees, multidirectional movement facilitators. Earthling skin, hair, brains, bones, muscles, and organs are measured by these compare-and-contrast standards, delivering information along the way. Sifting through a flurry of text, readers will stumble upon headings marked “Science Fair Ideas,” consisting of simple, at-home experiments such as tracking one’s pulse with a dab of modeling clay or smelling foods that have strong odors. While the concept is attention-getting, and often humorous, the actual information is often overwhelmed by distracting asides, experiments, and reports filed to Danoid’s commander; this compendium may be more worthwhile for browsers than researchers. (diagrams, index) (Nonfiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 1-55074-511-5

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1999

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Swinburne sets out to teach young children about how shadows are created, describing night as a shadow on the earth, and giving children tangible reasons for why shadows vary in size, shape, and location. The latter half of the book invites readers to guess the origins of the shadows in vivid full-color photographs; subsequent pages provide the answers to the mysteries. A foreword contains information regarding the scientific reasons for shadows, which can be explained to small children, but it is the array of photographs that truly invites youngsters to take a closer look and analyze the world around them with an eye for the details. (Picture book/nonfiction. 3-5).

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 1999

ISBN: 1-56397-724-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1999

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