Motherless Madigan, 12, lives with her grandmother in a rooming house in rural Maryland and fantasizes about the father she has never met. When handsome Clint moves in as a temporary boarder, revealing little about himself except that he has been in the electronics business and needs relaxation, he charms Grandmother with quotes from Wordsworth, and Madigan with the idea that he may be her father; and when a rash of clever burglaries coincides with his arrival, the reader will guess long before Madigan and her friend Angie do that Clint is responsible—and that he's not Madigan's father, but the father of Angle's outcast sister Alice's baby. In her distress at these revelations, Madigan reveals her knowledge and is kidnapped by Clint and Alice, barely escaping with her life but realizing that even bad people may have admirable and lovable qualities. Hahn defines her characters with some depth and, though the "mystery" is hardly puzzling, Madigan's capture and escape are plausible as well as tautly full of suspense. The mundane explanation given by Madigan's grandmother concerning her real father makes for a solidly realistic conclusion.

Pub Date: March 21, 1988

ISBN: 0749704888

Page Count: 216

Publisher: Clarion

Review Posted Online: April 27, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1988

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Playful, engaging, and full of opportunities for empathy—a raucous storytime hit.


From the There’s a…in Your Book series

Readers try to dislodge a monster from the pages of this emotive and interactive read-aloud.

“OH NO!” the story starts. “There’s a monster in your book!” The blue, round-headed monster with pink horns and a pink-tipped tail can be seen cheerfully munching on the opening page. “Let’s try to get him out,” declares the narrator. Readers are encouraged to shake, tilt, and spin the book around, while the monster careens around an empty background looking scared and lost. Viewers are exhorted to tickle the monster’s feet, blow on the page, and make a really loud noise. Finally, shockingly, it works: “Now he’s in your room!” But clearly a monster in your book is safer than a monster in your room, so he’s coaxed back into the illustrations and lulled to sleep, curled up under one page and cuddling a bit of another like a child with their blankie. The monster’s entirely cute appearance and clear emotional reactions to his treatment add to the interactive aspect, and some young readers might even resist the instructions to avoid hurting their new pal. Children will be brought along on the monster’s journey, going from excited, noisy, and wiggly to calm and steady (one can hope).

Playful, engaging, and full of opportunities for empathy—a raucous storytime hit. (Picture book. 2-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6456-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 5, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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This companion piece to the other fairy tales Marcia Brown has interpreted (see Puss In Boots, 1952, p. 548 and others) has the smoothness of a good translation and a unique charm to her feathery light pictures. The pictures have been done in sunset colors and the spreads on each page as they illustrate the story have the cumulative effect of soft cloud banks. Gentle.

Pub Date: June 15, 1954

ISBN: 0684126761

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1954

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