A third book about a likable, strong-minded child who lives in a friendly British village with her ``mom.'' Fans of Josie (Josie Smith, 1989) will remember that, though she's conscientious and well-intentioned, her imagination and persistence tend to get her into amusing trouble. This time, three long episodes involve Josie's abortive attempt to take her new teacher a bouquet; the difficulty of making friends with an Indian classmate who doesn't know English; and a mix-up concerning a class play, when the new haircut Josie at first admires causes her to be drafted for a male role—which turns out to be just one of several miscastings that precipitate a comical epidemic of tears. Nabb's artfully mixed humor and sympathy for childhood's dramas and misunderstandings rivals Cleary's. Her deftly sketched characters, both children and adults, are wonderfully three- dimensional: a martinet of a principal, Josie's wise but not infallible mother, perennial rival/friend Eileen—each is a believable blend of strengths and faults. Again, Vainio's lively drawings capture the essence of the more telling moments. A fine chapter book for newly independent readers. (Fiction. 6-10)

Pub Date: Dec. 5, 1991

ISBN: 0-689-50533-7

Page Count: 106

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 1991


At ``Step 2'' in the useful ``Step into Reading'' series: an admirably clear, well-balanced presentation that centers on wolves' habits and pack structure. Milton also addresses their endangered status, as well as their place in fantasy, folklore, and the popular imagination. Attractive realistic watercolors on almost every page. Top-notch: concise, but remarkably extensive in its coverage. A real bargain. (Nonfiction/Easy reader. 6-10)

Pub Date: April 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-679-91052-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1992


Trickling, bubbling, swirling, rushing, a river flows down from its mountain beginnings, past peaceful country and bustling city on its way to the sea. Hooper (The Drop in My Drink, 1998, etc.) artfully evokes the water’s changing character as it transforms from “milky-cold / rattling-bold” to a wide, slow “sliding past mudflats / looping through marshes” to the end of its journey. Willey, best known for illustrating Geraldine McCaughrean’s spectacular folk-tale collections, contributes finely detailed scenes crafted in shimmering, intricate blues and greens, capturing mountain’s chill, the bucolic serenity of passing pastures, and a sense of mystery in the water’s shadowy depths. Though Hooper refers to “the cans and cartons / and bits of old wood” being swept along, there’s no direct conservation agenda here (for that, see Debby Atwell’s River, 1999), just appreciation for the river’s beauty and being. (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: June 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-7636-0792-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2000