This clever home-away-home arc with a “go with the flow” twist has the added bonus of motivating readers’ engagement.

BOB AND JOSS GET LOST!

Two friends rent a sailboat, get lost, become shipwrecked, and end up on a (seemingly) deserted beach.

Bob, a Type A personality, and Joss, a classic Type B, are friends (both are white). The book opens on a beach as Bob informs Joss that he is bored. Joss suggests renting a sailboat, but Bob is hesitant, afraid they will get lost. Joss assures him they won’t. Not only do they get lost, they encounter a storm, become shipwrecked, and finally wash up on a beach. Throughout it all, their overachiever-vs.–laid-back personality differences are what drive both the plot and the humor. After the shipwreck, Bob is all about responsibility and control as he builds a shelter and tries to make a fire, while Joss is all about being in the moment as he savors a coconut and listens to the waves. Vogel’s illustrations alternate between sequential panels that emphasize the droll dialogue exchanges and single- and double-page spreads that add both setting and emotional ambiance. GPS coordinates on each verso page add a clever tangential story, and motivated readers who plot them (easily done with a computer) will get a jump on the surprise ending (as will readers who explore the illustrations very closely).

This clever home-away-home arc with a “go with the flow” twist has the added bonus of motivating readers’ engagement. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 28, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-241531-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Nov. 23, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2016

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THE GIRL WHO LOVED WILD HORSES

            There are many parallel legends – the seal women, for example, with their strange sad longings – but none is more direct than this American Indian story of a girl who is carried away in a horses’ stampede…to ride thenceforth by the side of a beautiful stallion who leads the wild horses.  The girl had always loved horses, and seemed to understand them “in a special way”; a year after her disappearance her people find her riding beside the stallion, calf in tow, and take her home despite his strong resistance.  But she is unhappy and returns to the stallion; after that, a beautiful mare is seen riding always beside him.  Goble tells the story soberly, allowing it to settle, to find its own level.  The illustrations are in the familiar striking Goble style, but softened out here and there with masses of flowers and foliage – suitable perhaps for the switch in subject matter from war to love, but we miss the spanking clean design of Custer’s Last Battle and The Fetterman Fight.          6-7

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1978

ISBN: 0689845049

Page Count: -

Publisher: Bradbury

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1978

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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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