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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An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some...

RALPH TELLS A STORY

With a little help from his audience, a young storyteller gets over a solid case of writer’s block in this engaging debut.

Despite the (sometimes creatively spelled) examples produced by all his classmates and the teacher’s assertion that “Stories are everywhere!” Ralph can’t get past putting his name at the top of his paper. One day, lying under the desk in despair, he remembers finding an inchworm in the park. That’s all he has, though, until his classmates’ questions—“Did it feel squishy?” “Did your mom let you keep it?” “Did you name it?”—open the floodgates for a rousing yarn featuring an interloping toddler, a broad comic turn and a dramatic rescue. Hanlon illustrates the episode with childlike scenes done in transparent colors, featuring friendly-looking children with big smiles and widely spaced button eyes. The narrative text is printed in standard type, but the children’s dialogue is rendered in hand-lettered printing within speech balloons. The episode is enhanced with a page of elementary writing tips and the tantalizing titles of his many subsequent stories (“When I Ate Too Much Spaghetti,” “The Scariest Hamster,” “When the Librarian Yelled Really Loud at Me,” etc.) on the back endpapers.

An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some budding young writers off and running. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2012

ISBN: 978-0761461807

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Amazon Children's Publishing

Review Posted Online: Aug. 22, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2012

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Teachers will certainly find themselves wishing for their own arsenal of supplies to help them with their grading, and...

THE LITTLE RED PEN

Obviously inspired by "The Little Red Hen," this goes beyond the foundation tale's basic moral about work ethic to explore problem solving, teamwork and doing one’s best.

Nighttime at school brings the Little Red Pen out of the drawer to correct papers, usually aided by other common school supplies. But not this time. Too afraid of being broken, worn out, dull, lost or, worst of all, put in the “Pit of No Return” (aka trash), they hide in the drawer despite the Little Red Pen’s insistence that the world will end if the papers do not get corrected. But even with her drive she cannot do it all herself—her efforts send her to the Pit. It takes the ingenuity and cooperation of every desk supply to accomplish her rescue and to get all the papers graded, thereby saving the world. The authors work in lots of clever wordplay that will appeal to adult readers, as will the spicy character of Chincheta, the Mexican pushpin. Stevens’ delightfully expressive desk supplies were created with paint, ink and plenty of real school supplies. Without a doubt, she has captured their true personalities: the buck-toothed stapler, bespectacled scissors and rather empty-headed eraser.

Teachers will certainly find themselves wishing for their own arsenal of supplies to help them with their grading, and students may take a second glance at that innocuous-looking red pen on the teacher’s desk. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 18, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-15-206432-7

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: April 6, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2011

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