HAZEL GREEN

Here’s a young mover-and-shaker who will stay with readers for a long time. Wondering why children never march in the big Frogg Day parade, Hazel sets about making a change, first bringing around the children in her apartment building, then striking a deal with the parade’s child-hating Marshall. Having finally gotten the children to work together to design and build a float, she needs all of her resources, both to woo a standoffish classmate into her camp, and then to regain her own spot in the parade after a rival takes over the project. Hirsch handles a temporary falling out between Hazel and her best adult friend a bit clumsily, but brings the tale along nicely to a rousing conclusion filled with noise, joy, and confetti. Readers who enjoy meeting strong-minded characters who can shrug off reverses, muse over similarities between a flower bouquet and a poem, and speak as equals both to grownups and other children, will be delighted with Hazel Green. (Fiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: June 1, 2003

ISBN: 1-58234-820-0

Page Count: 188

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2003

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GINGERBREAD BABY

In a snowbound Swiss village, Matti figures it’s a good day to make a gingerbread man. He and his mother mix a batch of gingerbread and tuck it in the oven, but Matti is too impatient to wait ten minutes without peeking. When he opens the door, out pops a gingerbread baby, taunting the familiar refrain, “Catch me if you can.” The brash imp races all over the village, teasing animals and tweaking the noses of the citizenry, until there is a fair crowd on his heels intent on giving him a drubbing. Always he remains just out of reach as he races over the winterscape, beautifully rendered with elegant countryside and architectural details by Brett. All the while, Matti is busy back home, building a gingerbread house to entice the nervy cookie to safe harbor. It works, too, and Matti is able to spirit the gingerbread baby away from the mob. The mischief-maker may be a brat, but the gingerbread cookie is also the agent of good cheer, and Brett allows that spirit to run free on these pages. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-399-23444-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1999

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SIX HAUNTED HAIRDOS

Having survived an influx of giant, poisonous Siberian snow spiders (Seven Spiders Spinning, 1994), the rival boys and girls of Miss Earth's class in Hamlet, Vermont, face another set of prehistoric critters: a herd of ghost mammoths hunting through the centuries for a misplaced youngling. In the wake of a classroom argument about the existence of ghosts, the Tattletales (girls) gleefully don fright masks and beehive wigs (`` `There is nothing quite so terrifying as hairstyles that have gone out of fashion' '') and send the Copycats (boys) fleeing down spooky Hardscrabble Hill in panic, where there are actual ghosts—indistinct mounds that appear at the first sign of peanuts and wander about with a mournful air. With the help of the new boy, Salim Bannerjee, a newly deceased pet mouse named Jeremiah Bullfrog, plus lots of chocolate donuts from the local bakery-cum-auto repair shop, the Copycats divine the source of the mammoths' unhappiness; they ease it with a handy baby elephant ghost that has followed Salim all the way from the Bombay Zoo. Then, using many cans of hair spray, they give the obliging pachyderms new hairstyles to turn the tables on the Tattletales. Maguire's wit sometimes slips its leash, but the climax is sidesplitting and the gender rivalry thoroughly skewered, although the heartwarming ectoplasmic adoption scene prompts a Thanksgiving Day truce between the factions. (b&w illustrations, not seen) (Fiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 1997

ISBN: 0-395-78626-6

Page Count: 148

Publisher: Clarion

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1997

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