Another doggone funny cowboy caper chock full o’ chuckles.

READ REVIEW

COWPOKE CLYDE RIDES THE RANGE

That ol’ rascal Cowpoke Clyde is back in the saddle again for another rollicking ride on the range (Cowpoke Clyde and Dirty Dawg, 2013), this time on one of them newfangled machines called a bicycle.

The lanky, white cowboy decides to trade in his horse, ordering up a shiny, red bicycle from a mail-order catalog, or “cat-y-log” in Clyde’s colloquial manner of speaking. The pitch-perfect rhyming text is filled with amusing, old-fashioned expressions in Clyde’s strong cowboy voice, just begging to be read aloud with a believable twang. When Clyde takes off on his first ride, he’s followed by his trusty, dusty Dawg, a faithful Old English sheepdog in a red bandanna. In subsequent action-filled scenes, they meet a “horny toad,” a hare, a porcupine, and some bighorn sheep, which the devoted Dawg chases out of his path just in time. Thoughtful art direction sets up each new critter encounter with dramatic pacing and a page turn to reveal the next animal obstacle, with the new creature’s name set in huge display type. Vibrant digitally produced illustrations give Clyde a distinct personality and meet the challenge of capturing a cowboy in motion on a bicycle, and close-up views of the prickly porcupine and bug-eyed bighorn sheep effectively animate the critters so they seem ready to jump right off the page.

Another doggone funny cowboy caper chock full o’ chuckles. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: May 3, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-544-37030-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2016

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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...

RALPH TELLS A STORY

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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A treat to be savored—and a lesson learned—any time of year.

LOVE MONSTER AND THE LAST CHOCOLATE

From the Love Monster series

The surprised recipient of a box of chocolates agonizes over whether to eat the whole box himself or share with his friends.

Love Monster is a chocoholic, so when he discovers the box on his doorstep, his mouth waters just thinking about what might be inside; his favorite’s a double chocolate strawberry swirl. The brief thought that he should share these treats with his friends is easily rationalized away. Maybe there won’t be enough for everyone, perhaps someone will eat his favorite, or, even worse, leave him with his least favorite: the coffee one! Bright’s pacing and tone are on target throughout, her words conveying to readers exactly what the monster is thinking and feeling: “So he went into his house. And so did the box of chocolates…without a whisper of a word to anyone.” This is followed by a “queasy-squeezy” feeling akin to guilt and then by a full-tilt run to his friends, chocolates in hand, and a breathless, stream-of-consciousness confession, only to be brought up short by what’s actually in the box. And the moral is just right: “You see, sometimes it’s when you stop to think of others…that you start to find out just how much they think of you.” Monster’s wide eyes and toothy mouth convey his emotions wonderfully, and the simple backgrounds keep the focus on his struggle.

A treat to be savored—and a lesson learned—any time of year. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-00-754030-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 21, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2015

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