Young bookworms will savor this ode to the joy of reading.

THE READER

A young child prefers reading to any other activity.

This fortunate child has a dedicated in-home library and is encouraged to read any book reachable on the shelves, with others to be read upon growing taller. Some are at belly-button level, some at shoulder height, and some as high as fingertips can touch. The child has light-brown skin and a mop of straight, black hair, wears a yellow top, pajama pants, and purple socks, and narrates without revealing gender. Nor does it matter. This child tells those other readers, the ones listening to the narration, how wonderful reading can be. With or without pictures, whether serious, mysterious, or lighthearted, books transport the narrator to places wild and free. The child is not distracted or tempted by seeing other children playing outside but is perfectly content to read book after book, weaving in and out of imagined worlds and contemplating them long after the books are closed. The English translation from the Spanish is not credited, but the beautifully constructed, soaring words are perfectly in sync with Alonso’s colorful, fanciful depictions of the child’s out-of-this-world experiences as well as the intensity with which the books are devoured.

Young bookworms will savor this ode to the joy of reading. (Picture book. 4-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-62371-938-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Crocodile/Interlink

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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THE GIRL WHO LOVED WILD HORSES

            There are many parallel legends – the seal women, for example, with their strange sad longings – but none is more direct than this American Indian story of a girl who is carried away in a horses’ stampede…to ride thenceforth by the side of a beautiful stallion who leads the wild horses.  The girl had always loved horses, and seemed to understand them “in a special way”; a year after her disappearance her people find her riding beside the stallion, calf in tow, and take her home despite his strong resistance.  But she is unhappy and returns to the stallion; after that, a beautiful mare is seen riding always beside him.  Goble tells the story soberly, allowing it to settle, to find its own level.  The illustrations are in the familiar striking Goble style, but softened out here and there with masses of flowers and foliage – suitable perhaps for the switch in subject matter from war to love, but we miss the spanking clean design of Custer’s Last Battle and The Fetterman Fight.          6-7

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1978

ISBN: 0689845049

Page Count: -

Publisher: Bradbury

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1978

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A rollicking tale of rivalry.

IT HAPPENED ON SWEET STREET

Sweet Street had just one baker, Monsieur Oliphant, until two new confectionists move in, bringing a sugar rush of competition and customers.

First comes “Cookie Concocter par excellence” Mademoiselle Fee and then a pie maker, who opens “the divine Patisserie Clotilde!” With each new arrival to Sweet Street, rivalries mount and lines of hungry treat lovers lengthen. Children will delight in thinking about an abundance of gingerbread cookies, teetering, towering cakes, and blackbird pies. Wonderfully eccentric line-and-watercolor illustrations (with whites and marbled pastels like frosting) appeal too. Fine linework lends specificity to an off-kilter world in which buildings tilt at wacky angles and odd-looking (exclusively pale) people walk about, their pantaloons, ruffles, long torsos, and twiglike arms, legs, and fingers distinguishing them as wonderfully idiosyncratic. Rotund Monsieur Oliphant’s periwinkle complexion, flapping ears, and elongated nose make him look remarkably like an elephant while the women confectionists appear clownlike, with exaggerated lips, extravagantly lashed eyes, and voluminous clothes. French idioms surface intermittently, adding a certain je ne sais quoi. Embedded rhymes contribute to a bouncing, playful narrative too: “He layered them and cherried them and married people on them.” Tension builds as the cul de sac grows more congested with sweet-makers, competition, frustration, and customers. When the inevitable, fantastically messy food fight occurs, an observant child finds a sweet solution amid the delicious detritus.

A rollicking tale of rivalry. (Picture book. 4-8 )

Pub Date: July 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-101-91885-2

Page Count: 44

Publisher: Tundra Books

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2020

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