Though it has supporting themes about friendship and imagination, the biggest appeal here is that it’s just plain fun....

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QUEST-TERRESTRIALS

VOL. 1

Funny and charming, this picture book debut by author/illustrator Krol stars pint-sized aliens who always know how to lend a hand (and a laugh).

Clearly alien, with green skin and antennae or gray skin and elongated faces, the Quest-terrestrials do their best to blend in on any planet, whether it’s with humans or cacti. But they also love to take center stage and be unique. They like to go fast, and they like “things that, um, float?” the narrator explains in a dubious tone, accompanied by an image of the little aliens with pink balloons tied to their middles. The Quest-terrestrials also have the qualities of good friends: They catch friends when they fall and help them when they’re scared. Krol has a way of defying expectations. When the narrator describes simple pleasures, the aliens are shown with a leaf blower sending them (and a field of daisies) flying; when the aliens love something sweet, the page almost overflows with blue cotton candy. The Quest-terrestrials are fond of furry creatures, but they love unicorns best (enough to figure out how to bring one back to their home planet). The story ends on a gross-out note—and another expectation swap—that will leave readers giggling. Krol’s art has plenty of kid appeal, and the rough, cartoonish style is perfect for enhancing the text’s sense of humor.

Though it has supporting themes about friendship and imagination, the biggest appeal here is that it’s just plain fun. Expect plenty of giggles—from children and parents.

Pub Date: Feb. 22, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5255-2190-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: FriesenPress

Review Posted Online: April 18, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2018

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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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GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS

With the same delightfully irreverent spirit that he brought to his retelling of "Little Red Riding Hood" (1987), Marshall enlivens another favorite. Although completely retold with his usual pungent wit and contemporary touches ("I don't mind if I do," says Goldilocks, as she tries out porridge, chair, and bed), Marshall retains the stories well-loved pattern, including Goldilocks escaping through the window (whereupon Baby Bear inquires, "Who was that little girl?"). The illustrations are fraught with delicious humor and detail: books that are stacked everywhere around the rather cluttered house, including some used in lieu of a missing leg for Papa Bear's chair; comically exaggerated beds—much too high at the head and the foot; and Baby Bear's wonderfully messy room, which certainly brings the story into the 20th century. Like its predecessor, perfect for several uses, from picture-book hour to beginning reading.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1988

ISBN: 0140563660

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1988

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