Opening with the full text of her lyrical unrhymed poem that begins, “Lovely the lateness / in summertime darkening,” Payne recalls a summer evening where inside and outside merge. The grownups are talking, the scent is of damp geraniums, children are playing hide and seek and, “Moths and mosquitoes are biting the lampposts.” Swiatkowska works with color, texture and magic; she lightly sketches the outlines of the child’s face lost in the splashes of geranium with dreamlike snatches of memory or story, a jug on the table has a face and there’s a pelican in a bowl. Wonderful things happen to the text, too: Multiple fonts in differing colors and weights swagger and sway throughout the pages, often with little decorative elements that echo historiated initials from illuminated manuscripts in extremely modern dress. Dreamily evocative, down to its last “no one is leaving / then everyone’s gone.” A rich confection, beautifully delivered. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: May 3, 2005

ISBN: 0-374-37291-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Frances Foster/Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2005


The Buehners retell the old familiar tale with a jump-roping, rhyme-spouting Goldilocks. When their porridge proves to be too hot to eat, the bear family goes for a stroll. Meanwhile, Goldilocks comes knocking to find a jump-roping friend. This Goldilocks does not simply test out the chairs: “Big chair, middle chair, little chair, too, / Somebody’s here to bounce on you!” And so continues the old favorite, interspersed with Goldilocks’s jump-rope verse. When she escapes through the bedroom window, none of the characters are sure what sort of creature they have just encountered. The Buehner’s homey illustrations perfectly capture the facial expressions of the characters, and lend a particular kind of mischief to Goldilocks. Readers may miss the message on the copyright page, but hidden within each picture are three creatures, instantly adding challenge and appeal. Cute, but there’s not quite enough new here to make it a must. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2007

ISBN: 0-8037-2939-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2007


A book that will make young dog-owners smile in recognition and confirm dogless readers' worst suspicions about the mayhem caused by pets, even winsome ones. Sam, who bears passing resemblance to an affable golden retriever, is praised for fetching the family newspaper, and goes on to fetch every other newspaper on the block. In the next story, only the children love Sam's swimming; he is yelled at by lifeguards and fishermen alike when he splashes through every watering hole he can find. Finally, there is woe to the entire family when Sam is bored and lonely for one long night. Boland has an essential message, captured in both both story and illustrations of this Easy-to-Read: Kids and dogs belong together, especially when it's a fun-loving canine like Sam. An appealing tale. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-8037-1530-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1996

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