All that’s missing are the recipes.

A COOKED-UP FAIRY TALE

William might live in the land of fairy tales, but he just wants to cook.

More interested in pastries than princesses, William’s tried plying his culinary trade around the fairy-tale kingdom. At the Brick House (run by the Three Pigs), “the menu was too dangerous” (think Pot-o’-Wolf Stew). At Three Bears Bistro, the customers were too picky about the food’s temperature. And his stint at Gingerbread-on-the-Go ended in a footrace with the cookies. Setting out to acquire ingredients to cook from home, he finds a box addressed to Fairy-Tale Headquarters containing apples, beans, and a pumpkin. He decides to spruce up their menu and cooks a delightful dish with each—but Judy at headquarters and the fairy-tale folk who’d ordered the original ingredients for their tales are aghast. After reading the book of fairy tales they send him away with, William rushes back to see what’s happened. Snow White passed out after eating every one of his delicious baked apples, but the prince kissed her awake, so all’s well there. Jack traded the yummy bean soup for the giant’s castle, so that’s ended well also. But what can Cinderella do with a pumpkin pie? It works out happily ever after for everyone, especially William. Klostermann’s triple-twisted tale is a cute concoction that children familiar with the traditional stories will enjoy. Mantle’s bright, cartoon illustrations pair neatly with the text and propel the story with whimsical sight gags and charm to spare. Save a passing giant and a few of the dwarves, all the human or humanoid characters are white (or green).

All that’s missing are the recipes. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-101-93232-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 31, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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This story covers the few days preceding the much-anticipated Midnight Zombie Walk, when Stink and company will take to the...

STINK AND THE MIDNIGHT ZOMBIE WALK

From the Stink series

An all-zombie-all-the-time zombiefest, featuring a bunch of grade-school kids, including protagonist Stink and his happy comrades.

This story covers the few days preceding the much-anticipated Midnight Zombie Walk, when Stink and company will take to the streets in the time-honored stiff-armed, stiff-legged fashion. McDonald signals her intent on page one: “Stink and Webster were playing Attack of the Knitting Needle Zombies when Fred Zombie’s eye fell off and rolled across the floor.” The farce is as broad as the Atlantic, with enough spookiness just below the surface to provide the all-important shivers. Accompanied by Reynolds’ drawings—dozens of scene-setting gems with good, creepy living dead—McDonald shapes chapters around zombie motifs: making zombie costumes, eating zombie fare at school, reading zombie books each other to reach the one-million-minutes-of-reading challenge. When the zombie walk happens, it delivers solid zombie awfulness. McDonald’s feel-good tone is deeply encouraging for readers to get up and do this for themselves because it looks like so much darned fun, while the sub-message—that reading grows “strong hearts and minds,” as well as teeth and bones—is enough of a vital interest to the story line to be taken at face value.

Pub Date: March 13, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7636-5692-8

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2012

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Very young gardeners will need more information, but for certain picky eaters, the suggested strategy just might work.

SYLVIA'S SPINACH

A young spinach hater becomes a spinach lover after she has to grow her own in a class garden.

Unable to trade away the seed packet she gets from her teacher for tomatoes, cukes or anything else more palatable, Sylvia reluctantly plants and nurtures a pot of the despised veggie then transplants it outside in early spring. By the end of school, only the plot’s lettuce, radishes and spinach are actually ready to eat (talk about a badly designed class project!)—and Sylvia, once she nerves herself to take a nibble, discovers that the stuff is “not bad.” She brings home an armful and enjoys it from then on in every dish: “And that was the summer Sylvia Spivens said yes to spinach.” Raff uses unlined brushwork to give her simple cartoon illustrations a pleasantly freehand, airy look, and though Pryor skips over the (literally, for spinach) gritty details in both the story and an afterword, she does cover gardening basics in a simple and encouraging way.

Very young gardeners will need more information, but for certain picky eaters, the suggested strategy just might work. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Nov. 6, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-9836615-1-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Readers to Eaters

Review Posted Online: Sept. 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2012

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