Emily Sherwood is twelve, tormented by her snide schoolmates for being tall, treated like an infant by her overbearing parents, and maybe a little too accommodating to her younger brother. Newcomer Sara Slater (from New York!) is twelve, an inch taller, and not put upon by anybody: she terrorizes her younger sister, in fact; tells her parents where to get off; and when the local kids start giving her the Emily-treatment, gives them back more than they bargained for—including the hurtful things she's overheard them say about one another. All this, however overdrawn, has grab: Hahn writes a sharp-edged, mean-spirited, dirty-mouthed, Seventies-suburban story that will be read to the end. . . if only, indeed, to see where natural-follower Emily will draw the line. And when she does—at Sara's attempt to imprison little sister "Hairball" in a foul, infested hut—it's not unequivocal; Sara never exactly repents, one could say she relents—and in disclosing to Emily her own vulnerability (especially her gratitude for Emily's loyalty-under-pressure), secures her friendship forever. But in avoiding the usual turnabout (which would have entailed exposing Sara as an unstable, somehow-victimized child), Hahn has failed to clarify just what does all her—or to explain why her parents, however preoccupied, never intercede. And the restrained resolution is not matched by the characterization of the supporting cast—horrors one and all.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1980

ISBN: 0380723549

Page Count: 135

Publisher: Clarion

Review Posted Online: April 27, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1980

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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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