Another well-documented indian story from the illustrator of The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses (Caldecott Medal, 1979). Goble explains that there are many comic stories about Iktomi, who is clever enough to make mischief but also stupid enough to be fooled—as well as being an incurable liar: "we can see ourselves in him." Here, Iktomi discards his blanket on a hot day, unctuously giving it to a boulder to keep the sun off; when the weather changes, he takes the blanket back—and the boulder revenges itself by chasing and capturing him. Lured by Iktomi's lies, bats fly at the boulder in a rage, breaking it up and freeing the trickster. There is extra dialogue, printed adjacent to the illustrations, that Goble recommends be skipped when using the story with a group; italicized interpolations ("He wasn't really generous at all, was he?") are traditional, designed to invite audience participation—like hissing a melodrama's villain. An amusing addition to Native American folklore collections, illustrated in Goble's usual colorful, clean style.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1988

ISBN: 0531057607

Page Count: 38

Publisher: Orchard/Watts

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1988

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A festive invitation to creative liberation.


A pleasingly tactile exploration of the possibilities inherent in mistakes.

"A torn piece of paper... / is just the beginning!" Spills, folded paper, drips of paint, smudges and smears—they "all can make magic appear." An increasingly complex series of scenarios celebrates random accidents, encouraging artistic experimentation rather than discouragement. The folded-over paper can be a penguin's head; a torn piece of newsprint can turn into a smiling dog with a little application of paint; a hot-chocolate stain can become a bog for a frog. Thanks to a telescoping pop-up, a hole is filled with nearly limitless possibilities. The interactive elements work beautifully with the photo-collaged "mistakes," never overwhelming the intent with showiness. Saltzberg's trademark cartoon animals provide a sweetly childlike counterpoint to the artful scribbles and smears of gloppy paint.

A festive invitation to creative liberation. (Pop-up. 4-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 23, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-7611-5728-1

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Workman

Review Posted Online: Dec. 10, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2010

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From the artist who created last year's shoutingly vivid Growing Vegetable Soup, a companion volume about raising a flower garden. "Mom and I" plant bulbs (even rhizomes), choose seeds, buy seedlings, and altogether grow about 20 species. Unlike the vegetables, whose juxtaposed colors were almost painfully bright, the flowers make a splendidly gaudy array, first taken together and then interestingly grouped by color—the pages vary in size here so that colored strips down the right-hand side combine to make a broad rainbow. Bold, stylish, and indubitably inspired by real flowers, there is still (as with its predecessor) a link missing between these illustrations with their large, solid areas of color and the real experience of a garden. The stylized forms are almost more abstractions than representations (and why is the daisy yellow?). There is also little sense of the relative times for growing and blooming—everything seems to come almost at once. Perhaps the trouble is that Ehlert has captured all the color of the garden, but not its subtle gradations or the light, the space, the air, and the continual movement and change.

Pub Date: March 21, 1988

ISBN: 0152063048

Page Count: 66

Publisher: Harcourt, Brace

Review Posted Online: April 24, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1988

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