GHOST OF THE SOUTHERN BELLE

A SEA TALE

Pale mist wafts mysteriously through the pages of this saga of a young boy’s quest to appease the spirits of a ghostly captain and his crew. When a boy sees the Southern Belle crash, he recalls the law of the sea—that the nearest vessel must help a ship in trouble. When no ship, not even his father’s, goes to help, the seas seem haunted for a year by the captain and crew of the Southern Belle; one ship after another goes down. The boy, open-minded about superstitions, convinces his more practical father to allow him help the ghosts of the Southern Belle to their rest. Scenes overlaid with an appearance of fog and dripping with moisture give a tactile feel to a classic tale of a racing boat beaten not by another ship but by a storm at sea. Save this for a rainy afternoon story hour when the lightning flashes and thunder rolls. (Picture book. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-316-02608-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1999

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THE QUILTMAKER'S GIFT

A sentimental tale overwhelmed by busy illustrations and rampant pedantry. A gifted quiltmaker who makes outstanding quilts never sells her wares, but gives them away to the poor. A greedy king so loves presents that he has two birthdays a year, and commands everyone in the kingdom to give him gifts. Everyone brings presents till the castle overflows; the king, still unhappy, locates the quiltmaker and directs her to make him a quilt. When she refuses he tries to feed her to a hungry bear, then to leave her on a tiny island, but each time the quiltmaker’s kindness results in her rescue. At last, the king agrees to a bargain; he will give away his many things, and the quiltmaker will sew him a quilt. He is soon poor, but happier than he’s ever been, and she fulfills her end of the bargain; they remain partners forever after, with her sewing the quilts and him giving them away. The illustrations are elaborate, filled with clues to quilt names. A note points to the 250 different quilt names hidden in the picture on the inside of the book jacket. (Picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1999

ISBN: 1-57025-199-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1999

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LAUGH-ETERIA

Florian’s seventh collection of verse is also his most uneven; though the flair for clever rhyme that consistently lights up his other books, beginning with Monster Motel (1993), occasionally shows itself—“Hello, my name is Dracula/My clothing is all blackula./I drive a Cadillacula./I am a maniacula”—too many of the entries are routine limericks, putdowns, character portraits, rhymed lists that fall flat on the ear, or quick quips: “It’s hard to be anonymous/When you’re a hippopotamus.” Florian’s language and simple, thick-lined cartoons illustrations are equally ingenuous, and he sticks to tried-and-true subjects, from dinosaurs to school lunch, but the well of inspiration seems dry; revisit his hilarious Bing Bang Boing (1994) instead. (index) (Poetry. 8-10)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-15-202084-5

Page Count: 158

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1999

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