In Emmett's Pig (1959), Emmett received his heart's desire; ``King Emmett,'' a pig described as his but kept on a farm at some distance from his N.Y.C. home. Now, in one day, Emmett receives two overwhelming pieces of news: he hears that his family is moving to a small Ohio town (which precipitates what may be his first temper tantrum); then, with remarkably bad timing, his mother tells him that King Emmett is no more—he has met a pig's usual fate. Not surprisingly, Emmett arrives at the Ohio house full of belligerence, but Ohio simply doesn't fight back: the house really is nicer; despite Emmett's suspicions, the older boy next door is friendly and teaches Emmett to ride his new bike; and a more suitable pet is soon provided—a dog with a memorial name (see title), to be called simply ``King.'' Once past the jolting (though not altogether improbable) beginning, this becomes a pleasant story of necessary adjustments made with good intentions and with some realistic parent-child negotiations. Williams's contribution is minimal here, but Emmett is recognizable, just a year older. (Fiction/Young reader. 7-10)

Pub Date: May 24, 1991

ISBN: 0-688-09520-8

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1991


A charming, true story about the encounter between the boy who would become chancellor at the University of California at Riverside and a librarian in Iowa. Tom†s Rivera, child of migrant laborers, picks crops in Iowa in the summer and Texas in the winter, traveling from place to place in a worn old car. When he is not helping in the fields, Tom†s likes to hear Papa Grande's stories, which he knows by heart. Papa Grande sends him to the library downtown for new stories, but Tom†s finds the building intimidating. The librarian welcomes him, inviting him in for a cool drink of water and a book. Tom†s reads until the library closes, and leaves with books checked out on the librarian's own card. For the rest of the summer, he shares books and stories with his family, and teaches the librarian some Spanish. At the end of the season, there are big hugs and a gift exchange: sweet bread from Tom†s's mother and a shiny new book from the librarianto keep. Col¢n's dreamy illustrations capture the brief friendship and its life-altering effects in soft earth tones, using round sculptured shapes that often depict the boy right in the middle of whatever story realm he's entered. (Picture book. 7-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-679-80401-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1997


Trickling, bubbling, swirling, rushing, a river flows down from its mountain beginnings, past peaceful country and bustling city on its way to the sea. Hooper (The Drop in My Drink, 1998, etc.) artfully evokes the water’s changing character as it transforms from “milky-cold / rattling-bold” to a wide, slow “sliding past mudflats / looping through marshes” to the end of its journey. Willey, best known for illustrating Geraldine McCaughrean’s spectacular folk-tale collections, contributes finely detailed scenes crafted in shimmering, intricate blues and greens, capturing mountain’s chill, the bucolic serenity of passing pastures, and a sense of mystery in the water’s shadowy depths. Though Hooper refers to “the cans and cartons / and bits of old wood” being swept along, there’s no direct conservation agenda here (for that, see Debby Atwell’s River, 1999), just appreciation for the river’s beauty and being. (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: June 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-7636-0792-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2000

Close Quickview