A vividly illustrated picture book about one of Mother Nature’s mysteries, with plenty of kid appeal.


Ranger Baldy and the Disappearing Waterfall


An eagle named Ranger Baldy, who’s also an animal rescuer and conservationist, joins a cast of friendly, Disney-esque animals in his first adventure.

Baldy, a Ranger First Class in the Animal Ranger Corps, is new to Yosemite Valley. He was born in a zoo and raised in captivity, so he’s suspicious of human “two-leggers,” as they harm nature, which he’s sworn to protect. In beautifully painted panoramas, the cartoon eagle begins the story by flying to the rescue of mischievous Bobby Cat. The feline’s fall from a teetering tree causes a number of other trees to topple and block a waterfall. Gruff Baldy scolds Bobby and his friend Mules Deer and enlists them to help clear the waterfall’s path—but then the water mysteriously vanishes. Baldy follows some two-legger tracks, thinking that humans may be to blame for the disappearing water, but Graycee Fox assures Baldy, as they converse among bright redwoods, that the humans were actually planting trees. Still looking for a lead, Baldy helps a kingsnake mother move her eggs to a safer location, knowing that, like the baby trees, those baby snakes will need to have water—but that won’t happen unless he can solve the mystery. Flying high, he sees that snow is also missing from the mountaintops, so he decides to visit his old Ranger Chief, J.M. Bear, for advice. The old grizzly bear explains that the dried-out falls are just a part of Yosemite’s natural cycle. Although Baldy is ashamed of his lack of knowledge, Bear praises him for his attention during his investigation: “ ‘It’s those little things that matter most,’ said J.M. ‘They make the big difference.’ ” The book’s combination of gorgeously painted backgrounds and cartoon animals works brilliantly and may encourage young readers to take an interest in Yosemite and other national parks. Baldy is exactly the type of hero that young animal lovers and conservationists will eagerly follow: brave, kind and willing to learn from his mistakes. Early elementary schoolers, whether independent readers or lap-readers, will be eager for more of Baldy’s adventures.

A vividly illustrated picture book about one of Mother Nature’s mysteries, with plenty of kid appeal.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-938155-00-0

Page Count: 34

Publisher: The Magic Factory

Review Posted Online: March 25, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2014

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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...


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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This companion piece to the other fairy tales Marcia Brown has interpreted (see Puss In Boots, 1952, p. 548 and others) has the smoothness of a good translation and a unique charm to her feathery light pictures. The pictures have been done in sunset colors and the spreads on each page as they illustrate the story have the cumulative effect of soft cloud banks. Gentle.

Pub Date: June 15, 1954

ISBN: 0684126761

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1954

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