THE HIDDEN FOLK

STORIES OF FAIRIES, GNOMES, SELKIES, AND OTHER SECRET BEINGS

These very brief tales offer insight and warning: where you might find the hidden folk, how to treat them, and what might happen if you use them badly. From the flower fairies, readers learn how lily of the valley came to be, the uses of tulips and why parsley is bitter. A boy who mistreats the farm gnome called a “nisse” learns, tossed and muddied, why this is not a good idea. River sprites behind waterfalls teach fiddle-playing, but with a catch, and the selkie story is a familiar one to those who have seen The Secret of Roan Inish. These small, delightful tales are fabulously illustrated by Krommes’s scratchboard pictures. She fills the linear patterns inherent in scratchboard design with rich and brilliant color, at once cozy and majestic. It’s very easy to see elves, gnomes, and dwarves being comfortable in such places. (source note, references) (Folktales. 5-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2004

ISBN: 0-618-17495-8

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2004

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THE BEST CHEF IN SECOND GRADE

An impending school visit by a celebrity chef sends budding cook Ollie into a tailspin. He and his classmates are supposed to bring a favorite family food for show and tell, but his family doesn’t have a clear choice—besides, his little sister Rosy doesn’t like much of anything. What to do? As in their previous two visits to Room 75, Kenah builds suspense while keeping the tone light, and Carter adds both bright notes of color and familiar home and school settings in her cartoon illustrations. Eventually, Ollie winkles favorite ingredients out of his clan, which he combines into a mac-and-cheese casserole with a face on top that draws delighted praise from the class’s renowned guest. As Ollie seems to do his kitchen work without parental assistance, a cautionary tip or two (and maybe a recipe) might not have gone amiss here, but the episode’s mouthwatering climax and resolution will guarantee smiles of contentment all around. (Easy reader. 6-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-06-053561-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2007

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DOG HEAVEN

Rylant's debut as a picture book illustrator (not to be confused with her board book debut as a collagist in The Everyday Books, 1993) offers sweet comfort to all who have lost loved ones, pets or otherwise. ``When dogs go to Heaven, they don't need wings because God knows that dogs love running best. He gives them fields. Fields and fields and fields.'' There are geese to bark at, plenty of children, biscuits, and, for those that need them, homes. In page- filling acrylics, small, simply brushed figures float against huge areas of bright colors: pictures infused with simple, doggy joy. At the end, an old man leans on a cane as he walks up a slope toward a small white dog: ``Dogs in Dog Heaven may stay as long as they like. . . .They will be there when old friends show up. They will be there at the door.'' Pure, tender, lyrical without being overearnest, and deeply felt. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-590-41701-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Blue Sky/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1995

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