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DORIAN'S QUARTERBACK

This work’s thoughtful, delicate prose paves a promising way for future installments.

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In Taylor’s historical series starter, a sensitive girl comes of age in New England.

In the 1970s, Beth Lawrence is an astute and inquisitive child who feels distant from the other members of her family; she’s much younger than her three siblings, and at one point, she notices that there are no photos of herself hanging up on the walls of their home. She’s also alienated from her peers, as she is, as she describes it, “the poorest kid in a rich school” in Providence, Rhode Island. By 14, Beth has made some connections with friends and with her beloved sister-in-law, Hope, but then her parents sell their house and abruptly transplant Beth to a hectic public school in New Hampshire, where the locals dismiss her as a “flatlander.” (Her often cold mother informs her of the sudden move, “as if talking about the weather,” dismissing Beth’s horrified reaction.) Once again an outsider as a high school freshman, Beth tries to assimilate, but sadness and loneliness seem to lurk behind every corner. Death also creeps into her life in several ways, including a destabilizing encounter with someone in her orbit contracting a mysterious disease. At 16, she finds hope, and longing, in her passionate feelings for a warmhearted boy named Toby Pemberton, but there are persistent hints at a grim future with shocking, unrevealed truths. Taylor ends this first novel rather abruptly, which leaves something to be desired, but she certainly sets up an intriguing and rich stage for her Emotional Imprints series. Her prose is particularly effective at showing how Beth tries to navigate the abrupt mood shifts of the complicated adults around her and how this has had lasting effects on her. Taylor also expertly mimics the sensation of delving into deep memories by subtly playing with tense and time; early on, for instance, Beth’s narration moves effortlessly from a contemporary, forlorn adult perspective to a third grader’s present-tense view. This adds to the novel’s overall moody atmosphere and hints that the protagonist’s best dramatic arcs are yet to come.

This work’s thoughtful, delicate prose paves a promising way for future installments.

Pub Date: Jan. 4, 2022

ISBN: 979-8-9854749-4-7

Page Count: 340

Publisher: Self

Review Posted Online: April 12, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2022

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MOO, BAA, LA LA LA!

From the Boynton Moo Media series

When anyone attempts to enhance and reformat a book that’s already sold more than five million copies, there’s some risk...

The iPad adaption of Boynton’s bestselling board book surveys animals and the sounds they make.

When anyone attempts to enhance and reformat a book that’s already sold more than five million copies, there’s some risk involved. What if it doesn’t translate well? Worse yet, what if it flops? Fortunately, Loud Crow Interactive and Boynton don’t have to worry about that. There’s no hint of a sophomore slump in this second installment of the Boynton Moo Media series. Much like its predecessor, The Going to Bed Book (2011), this app adapts the illustrator’s trademark creatures for iPad in a way few other developers can. The animals are fluid and pliable, which is no small feat given that they’re on a flat display. Readers can jiggle them, hurl them off screen, elicit animal sounds and in some cases make them sing (in a perfect inverted triad!). Melodic violin music accompanies the entire story, which is deftly narrated by Boynton’s son, Keith. In addition to the author’s simple yet charming prose there are little surprises sprinkled throughout that extend the wit that’s won countless babies and parents over in paper form.

Pub Date: April 19, 2011

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Loud Crow Interactive

Review Posted Online: May 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2011

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IN MY GARDEN

A little girl reviews the seasons as they leave their impression on her garden. There is spring with the business of nest-building, summer with its abundance of roses, fall with the tangy perfume of chrysanthemum, and winter with the frozen pond surrounded by whiteness. The sensitive text and poetic illustrations of Roger Duvoisin conjure up a child's garden of stirring beauty. A book to dream over, which not only introduces the child's mind, but her senses, to a world of phenomena.

Pub Date: Aug. 19, 1960

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard

Review Posted Online: May 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1960

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