He truly might be the bonniest baby in Dundee, or in any town.


Take one proud big sister, mix in the love of all the grannies in town and a baby beauty contest, and you have the fixings for a jolly read-aloud.

Related in irresistible rhyme, this Scottish import tells the tale of one blond, peach-skinned baby whose big sister enters him in a contest. And what a sweetie he is! “ ‘No time to lose!’ I shout to Mum. / ‘There’s a trophy to be won! / Let’s get our baby home and in the bath!’ ” Unfortunately, though his family prepares him for the big event, the world has other plans. The bus breaks down, it begins to “bucket down with rain,” the streetlights refuse to let them cross the street, and the bus splashes water on the tot, who is now “the dirtiest baby in Dundee!” The baby makes it worse by blowing a raspberry at the judge! But even though three other babies win ribbons before the treasured child, he does get his fourth-place ribbon, and all is well. Energetic watercolor-and-collage illustrations appropriately depict a multiethnic Dundee and reflect the exuberant verse, which is straight from the mouth of the proud big sister. Occasional Scottish words (“cheeky,” “bairn,” “claggie,” “wee,” and more) add to the fun. While American readers might not be familiar with these words, each is easy to decode and understand in context or from looking at the pictures. The rhyme begs to be read aloud—with or without a bonny Scottish accent.

He truly might be the bonniest baby in Dundee, or in any town. (Picture book. 2-8)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-78250-314-9

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Floris

Review Posted Online: Oct. 11, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2016

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            There are many parallel legends – the seal women, for example, with their strange sad longings – but none is more direct than this American Indian story of a girl who is carried away in a horses’ stampede…to ride thenceforth by the side of a beautiful stallion who leads the wild horses.  The girl had always loved horses, and seemed to understand them “in a special way”; a year after her disappearance her people find her riding beside the stallion, calf in tow, and take her home despite his strong resistance.  But she is unhappy and returns to the stallion; after that, a beautiful mare is seen riding always beside him.  Goble tells the story soberly, allowing it to settle, to find its own level.  The illustrations are in the familiar striking Goble style, but softened out here and there with masses of flowers and foliage – suitable perhaps for the switch in subject matter from war to love, but we miss the spanking clean design of Custer’s Last Battle and The Fetterman Fight.          6-7

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1978

ISBN: 0689845049

Page Count: -

Publisher: Bradbury

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1978

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A rollicking tale of rivalry.


Sweet Street had just one baker, Monsieur Oliphant, until two new confectionists move in, bringing a sugar rush of competition and customers.

First comes “Cookie Concocter par excellence” Mademoiselle Fee and then a pie maker, who opens “the divine Patisserie Clotilde!” With each new arrival to Sweet Street, rivalries mount and lines of hungry treat lovers lengthen. Children will delight in thinking about an abundance of gingerbread cookies, teetering, towering cakes, and blackbird pies. Wonderfully eccentric line-and-watercolor illustrations (with whites and marbled pastels like frosting) appeal too. Fine linework lends specificity to an off-kilter world in which buildings tilt at wacky angles and odd-looking (exclusively pale) people walk about, their pantaloons, ruffles, long torsos, and twiglike arms, legs, and fingers distinguishing them as wonderfully idiosyncratic. Rotund Monsieur Oliphant’s periwinkle complexion, flapping ears, and elongated nose make him look remarkably like an elephant while the women confectionists appear clownlike, with exaggerated lips, extravagantly lashed eyes, and voluminous clothes. French idioms surface intermittently, adding a certain je ne sais quoi. Embedded rhymes contribute to a bouncing, playful narrative too: “He layered them and cherried them and married people on them.” Tension builds as the cul de sac grows more congested with sweet-makers, competition, frustration, and customers. When the inevitable, fantastically messy food fight occurs, an observant child finds a sweet solution amid the delicious detritus.

A rollicking tale of rivalry. (Picture book. 4-8 )

Pub Date: July 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-101-91885-2

Page Count: 44

Publisher: Tundra Books

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2020

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