This mischievous bit of topsy-turvy is a thoroughgoing delight.



In a bedside conversation originally published in French, a bunny frets about a wolf’s coming while Mom tallies all the obstacles that will keep it away.

Badel’s loose, humorous cartoons extend Ouyessad’s all-dialogue exchange with opposing tongue-in-cheek scenes of two very long-eared rabbits—one huddled anxiously beneath the sheets, the other puttering about the cozy bedroom—on verso and a feral-looking wolf on recto. The latter can be seen evading hunters blasting away at random, sneaking into the city by pretending to be just a large dog, adroitly avoiding traffic, creeping into a certain building…but “he would not get to our apartment.” “How can you be sure?” “We live on the fifth floor, and wolves do not know how to take the elevator!” “Mom! Do you really think that a wolf who has already managed to do all this will stop because of an elevator?” Finally a firm “Goodnight, my rabbit,” would seem to settle the matter…until there comes a knock at the door followed by the revelation that it was all a setup; the little bunny hurtles across a living room where a birthday party has plainly just taken place, throws open the door, and gives the gift-bearing wolf standing there a mighty hug: “I was sure you would come!” Young audiences sure that the young bunny was about to become a menu item will happily request repeat readings.

This mischievous bit of topsy-turvy is a thoroughgoing delight. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-7643-5780-0

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Schiffer

Review Posted Online: June 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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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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In what seems like a veritable golden age of beginning readers, perhaps some things are better not published. Or read.



From the Adventures of Wedgieman series , Vol. 1

Captain Underpants he ain’t.

Although some may initially associate Harper and Shea’s beginning reader with Pilkey’s popular series, it falls short with a thin story and none of the master's clever sense of subversive, ribald humor. The titular hero starts as Veggiebaby, then becomes Veggieboy, then Veggieman, his growth and development attributed to his love of vegetables. He practices his superpowers as he grows, with text and art taking cheap shots at elderly women (as he lifts “a bus filled with chattering grandmas”) and overweight people (as his X-ray vision enables him to see into a house where a rotund man stands, embarrassed and clad only in his underwear: “Some things are better not seen.”) The book ends with Veggieman getting a new name from children who see a stick stuck to his shirt, making the V into a W, and dub him Wedgieman. “We don’t care about spelling,” they assure him when he objects that the word “wedgie” has a “d” and not a double “g.” His new name is sealed when (in an odd turn of events that is, sadly, characteristic of the poorly executed text) he gives himself a wedgie.

In what seems like a veritable golden age of beginning readers, perhaps some things are better not published. Or read. (Early reader. 5-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-93071-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 9, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2012

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