The Cinderella-like orphan is grudgingly taken in by her mean aunt and uncle, but she is denied adequate food and forced to...

THE FLUTE

With elements reminiscent of many different stories, this original tale features a beloved young girl named Chandra (moon in Hindi) who loses her parents in a terrible flood during monsoon season.

The Cinderella-like orphan is grudgingly taken in by her mean aunt and uncle, but she is denied adequate food and forced to work hard. Her only pleasure is playing her mother’s flute, put into her hands as her parents saved her from the raging river, but her cruel relatives take the little instrument. Chandra, who never loses hope, hears the flute and begins to find a daily meal of rice, lentils and eggplant. As everyone else starves during the drought-ridden season, she is accused of using “unholy magic,” and her uncle purposely pushes her into the next monsoon’s floodwaters. Miraculously, the flute sounds again, and the girl follows its sound until a rope pulls her to safety and into the hearts of a new set of loving parents. The dramatic illustrations create a strong, rural south Indian setting, with their quick black lines, almost-solid black bodies and bold use of red and blue, with just a hint of yellow for the moon. A traditional tale’s comeuppance for (and possible forgiveness of) the evil relatives is missing here, though, resulting in a narrative that feels incomplete.

Pub Date: Feb. 15, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-896580-57-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tradewind Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 9, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2012

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An all-day sugar rush, putting the “fun” back into, er, education.

IF I BUILT A SCHOOL

A young visionary describes his ideal school: “Perfectly planned and impeccably clean. / On a scale, 1 to 10, it’s more like 15!”

In keeping with the self-indulgently fanciful lines of If I Built a Car (2005) and If I Built a House (2012), young Jack outlines in Seussian rhyme a shiny, bright, futuristic facility in which students are swept to open-roofed classes in clear tubes, there are no tests but lots of field trips, and art, music, and science are afterthoughts next to the huge and awesome gym, playground, and lunchroom. A robot and lots of cute puppies (including one in a wheeled cart) greet students at the door, robotically made-to-order lunches range from “PB & jelly to squid, lightly seared,” and the library’s books are all animated popups rather than the “everyday regular” sorts. There are no guards to be seen in the spacious hallways—hardly any adults at all, come to that—and the sparse coed student body features light- and dark-skinned figures in roughly equal numbers, a few with Asian features, and one in a wheelchair. Aside from the lack of restrooms, it seems an idyllic environment—at least for dog-loving children who prefer sports and play over quieter pursuits.

An all-day sugar rush, putting the “fun” back into, er, education. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-55291-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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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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