Next book

CLEVER BEATRICE

A clever girl’s brains triumph over a giant’s brawn in this folktale from the northern US. Beatrice loves mental challenges and is a fast thinker, so when her family needs money, she is confident that the solution rests with the rich giant on the other side of the woods. The spunky girl walks right up to him and offers a bet that she can strike a blow harder than he can. He takes his turn, but then Beatrice tricks him into believing that she will destroy his door if she lets her fist fly. He declares her the winner without testing her. Twice more they bet on feats of strength, and each time the giant hands over his gold without Beatrice having to prove herself—he is that fearful of the amazing strength she claims to have. And in the end, both count themselves lucky—Beatrice that her family now has money to buy food and the giant that none of the things that Beatrice boasted of have befallen him. Readers will delight in the feisty Beatrice, a wonderful female role model who will let nothing stand in her way. Willey (Thanksgiving With Me, 1998, etc.) has crafted her tale so well that the reader can almost hear it being told by a storyteller around a crackling fire. Newcomer Solomon’s illustrations are a combination of watercolor backgrounds with details in collage. This style of illustrating makes the woodsy details of Northern Michigan pop out from the pages. Together, the author/illustrator team has created a heroine who proves that strength can mean much more than muscle power. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-689-83254-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2001

Next book

HOW TO MAKE AN APPLE PIE AND SEE THE WORLD

What if the market was closed when you wanted to bake a pie? You could embark for Europe, learn Italian en route, and pick up some semolina wheat in Italy, an egg in France, kurundu bark for cinnamon in Sri Lanka, and an entire cow in England (butter) before coming home via Jamaica (sugar) and Vermont (apples). The expertly designed illustrations in which a dark-haired lass journeys by various means to these interesting places to get her groceries are lovely and lively, and the narrative, too, travels at a spritely pace. The journey is neither quite logical enough to be truly informative nor quite bizarre enough to be satisfyingly silly, while the rich, sweet recipe that's appended will take some adult assistance. Still, fun. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 2, 1994

ISBN: 0-679-83705-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1994

Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating

  • New York Times Bestseller

Next book

BECAUSE I HAD A TEACHER

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift.

Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating

  • New York Times Bestseller

A paean to teachers and their surrogates everywhere.

This gentle ode to a teacher’s skill at inspiring, encouraging, and being a role model is spoken, presumably, from a child’s viewpoint. However, the voice could equally be that of an adult, because who can’t look back upon teachers or other early mentors who gave of themselves and offered their pupils so much? Indeed, some of the self-aware, self-assured expressions herein seem perhaps more realistic as uttered from one who’s already grown. Alternatively, readers won’t fail to note that this small book, illustrated with gentle soy-ink drawings and featuring an adult-child bear duo engaged in various sedentary and lively pursuits, could just as easily be about human parent- (or grandparent-) child pairs: some of the softly colored illustrations depict scenarios that are more likely to occur within a home and/or other family-oriented setting. Makes sense: aren’t parents and other close family members children’s first teachers? This duality suggests that the book might be best shared one-on-one between a nostalgic adult and a child who’s developed some self-confidence, having learned a thing or two from a parent, grandparent, older relative, or classroom instructor.

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943200-08-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: Dec. 13, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

Close Quickview