MacDonald’s lively retelling of this folktale is bound to fascinate kids; after all, who can resist a tale with a snot-nosed...

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THE BOY FROM THE DRAGON PALACE

This Japanese variant of "The Fisherman and His Wife" features a poor flower seller and a snot-nosed boy.

When no one buys his flowers, a poor flower seller casts them into the sea for the Dragon King, who lives under the water. A beautiful lady rises up from the waves with a boy in her arms as a thank you. She tells the man he will bring him luck IF he makes the boy shrimp every day with vinegar and sugar. Though the little boy has “the snottiest nose you ever did see,” the man takes him home and prepares the shrimp. The boy snuffles it down, blows his nose hard three times—and the floor is covered with gold! The greedy man then wishes for a larger house, servants, a cook, treasure chests and so on, until he has everything he could possibly want. Disgusted with the snot-nosed boy’s blowing, he sends him back to the sea, and, of course, all of the riches disappear. The digitally enhanced, watercolor collage art is typically Japanese in setting, clothing and the wide-eyed (and grubby-faced) boy’s black topknot. The text is nicely repetitive and includes satisfyingly disgusting nose-blowing effects that children will love.

MacDonald’s lively retelling of this folktale is bound to fascinate kids; after all, who can resist a tale with a snot-nosed boy? (source note) (Picture book/folktale. 4-8) 

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-8075-7513-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: July 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2011

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A delicious triumph over fear of night creatures.

PIPPA'S NIGHT PARADE

Pippa conquers a fear of the creatures that emerge from her storybooks at night.

Pippa’s “wonderfully wild imagination” can sometimes run “a little TOO wild.” During the day, she wears her “armor” and is a force to be reckoned with. But in bed at night, Pippa worries about “villains and monsters and beasts.” Sharp-toothed and -taloned shadows, dragons, and pirates emerge from her storybooks like genies from a bottle, just to scare her. Pippa flees to her parents’ room only to be brought back time and again. Finally, Pippa decides that she “needs a plan” to “get rid of them once and for all.” She decides to slip a written invitation into every book, and that night, they all come out. She tries subduing them with a lasso, an eye patch, and a sombrero, but she is defeated. Next, she tries “sashes and sequins and bows,” throwing the fashion pieces on the monsters, who…“begin to pose and primp and preen.” After that success, their fashion show becomes a nightly ritual. Clever Pippa’s transformation from scared victim of her own imagination to leader of the monster pack feels fairly sudden, but it’s satisfying nonetheless. The cartoony illustrations effectively use dynamic strokes, shadow, and light to capture action on the page and the feeling of Pippa's fears taking over her real space. Pippa and her parents are brown-skinned with curls of various textures.

A delicious triumph over fear of night creatures. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5420-9300-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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A close encounter of the best kind.

FIELD TRIP TO THE MOON

Left behind when the space bus departs, a child discovers that the moon isn’t as lifeless as it looks.

While the rest of the space-suited class follows the teacher like ducklings, one laggard carrying crayons and a sketchbook sits down to draw our home planet floating overhead, falls asleep, and wakes to see the bus zooming off. The bright yellow bus, the gaggle of playful field-trippers, and even the dull gray boulders strewn over the equally dull gray lunar surface have a rounded solidity suggestive of Plasticine models in Hare’s wordless but cinematic scenes…as do the rubbery, one-eyed, dull gray creatures (think: those stress-busting dolls with ears that pop out when squeezed) that emerge from the regolith. The mutual shock lasts but a moment before the lunarians eagerly grab the proffered crayons to brighten the bland gray setting with silly designs. The creatures dive into the dust when the bus swoops back down but pop up to exchange goodbye waves with the errant child, who turns out to be an olive-skinned kid with a mop of brown hair last seen drawing one of their new friends with the one crayon—gray, of course—left in the box. Body language is expressive enough in this debut outing to make a verbal narrative superfluous.

A close encounter of the best kind. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: May 14, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4253-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Margaret Ferguson/Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Feb. 6, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

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