THE SUN’S DAUGHTER

This original story by the first time author is a pourqoui tale of the seasons, similar to the familiar Greek legend of Persephone. In the before time, Sun’s daughters Maize, Pumpkin and Red Bean provide food in the midst of perpetual warmth. Maize, however, will not heed her mother’s warnings to stay in the open fields, and, wandering off the path, she encounters Silver. In spite of his icy coldness, she warms his skin and spends the night in his cave. Angered when she does not return, Sun denies her gifts to the people. The little gray pewee birds bring about her release for half the year by flying through the trees begging them, “Please weep. Please weep.” When they do, Silver keeps his promise to let Maize go for half a year, so seasons come to the people. Sherman states that the tale is an inspiration not an adaptation. Christie fills his paintings with the earthly hues of oranges, yellows and greens while his figures are more impressionistic than solid. While adding to the canon of Iroquois lore is to be commended, this reads as if the specifics of northeastern flora and fauna are simply grafted on to a universal tale. (author’s note) (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 28, 2005

ISBN: 0-618-32430-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2005

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THE BEST CHEF IN SECOND GRADE

An impending school visit by a celebrity chef sends budding cook Ollie into a tailspin. He and his classmates are supposed to bring a favorite family food for show and tell, but his family doesn’t have a clear choice—besides, his little sister Rosy doesn’t like much of anything. What to do? As in their previous two visits to Room 75, Kenah builds suspense while keeping the tone light, and Carter adds both bright notes of color and familiar home and school settings in her cartoon illustrations. Eventually, Ollie winkles favorite ingredients out of his clan, which he combines into a mac-and-cheese casserole with a face on top that draws delighted praise from the class’s renowned guest. As Ollie seems to do his kitchen work without parental assistance, a cautionary tip or two (and maybe a recipe) might not have gone amiss here, but the episode’s mouthwatering climax and resolution will guarantee smiles of contentment all around. (Easy reader. 6-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-06-053561-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2007

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THIS SCHOOL YEAR WILL BE THE BEST!

On the first day of school, this primary-grade teacher encourages her students to share their hopes for the coming year. In one- or two-page spreads, the wishes unfold: for the best seat on the bus, a chocolate fountain at lunch, to kick the ball into the right goal, not to be a vegetable in the school play. The quotidian-but-nevertheless-marvelous (“at least one snow day”) mixes with the slightly ridiculous (“We’ll have Skateboard Day”) to provide a kid-level survey of anticipated fun. Andriani’s line-and-watercolor cartoons likewise mix the fanciful (one little boy brings his giant purple boa constrictor for show-and-tell) and the realistic (two girls jump double Dutch as one of them imagines making friends in her new school). A catalog more than a story, this agreeable book could act as a fruitful springboard for class brainstorming. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: July 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-525-42275-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2010

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