KATE LARKIN, THE BONE EXPERT

Eight-year-old Kate Larkin becomes a bone expert when she breaks her humerus, “the bone between the elbow and shoulder,” as she explains. Partly a first-time-I-broke-a-bone book and partly an orthopedic textbook for the sneakers set, this offering for new readers walks them through the break, the hospital experience, the cast and the recovery. Kate’s first-person narration is mature and intelligent, if a tad too easy with scientific details that seem to come straight from a pamphlet in a pediatrician’s office. Black-and-white sketches and diagrams grace every spread and help keep the book grounded in the story of the broken bone. Kate’s face looks appropriately worried, in pain or comforted, even when the prose seems a bit clinical for an eight-year-old. Children are always interested in accidents and broken bones and will respond to this straightforward tale of how Kate spent her summer holiday. (glossary, related activities) (Fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: May 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-8050-7901-2

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2008

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GEORGE WASHINGTON’S TEETH

Now It Can Be Told: that severe, square-jawed look that the Father of Our Country flashes in his portraits reveals not only strength of character, but also his struggle to hide the fact that he was nearly (entirely, later in life) toothless by keeping a succession of spring-loaded false teeth in place. Drawing information from Washington’s own writings, the authors deliver a double account of his dental tribulations: first in sprightly rhyme—Martha “fed him mush and pickled tripe, / But when guests came to dine, / He sneaked one of his favorite nuts. / Then he had only nine”—followed by a detailed, annotated timeline. Cole’s (Larky Mavis, 2001, etc.) freely drawn, rumpled-looking watercolors document the countdown as well, with scenes of the unhappy statesman at war and at home, surrounded by family, attendants (including dark-skinned ones), and would-be dentists, all in authentic 18th-century dress. Contrary to popular belief, Washington’s false teeth were made not of wood, but of real teeth and hippo ivory; a photo of his last set closes this breezy, sympathetic, carefully-researched vignette on a note that will have readers feeling the great man’s pain—and never looking at his painted visage the same way again. (source notes) (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: Feb. 3, 2003

ISBN: 0-374-32534-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2002

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ACCIDENTAL LILY

PLB 0-679-99138-7 Since moving to Philadelphia, six-year-old Lily Hill (Private Lily, 1998, etc.) has had almost nightly problems with bad dreams and bed-wetting. Embarrassed by these accidents, she doesn’t see how she can accept a friend’s invitation to a sleepover birthday party. Inventive and persistent, Lily devises a foolproof plan with her brother, Case’she will use a washable sleeping bag and pack an extra set of clothes. To her surprise, Lily also learns that bed-wetting is a common problem among her peers when another child’s problem is carelessly announced to the entire first grade. For those children facing a similar battle, Lily’s fear of exposure and plan of attack will ring true, making this the perfect read-aloud. Gutsy by nature, Lily is not going to let a small problem prevent her from attending her best friend’s birthday party. Brief and satisfying for the audience. (Fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: May 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-679-89138-2

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1999

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