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THE TOOTH FAIRY MEETS EL RATÓN PÉREZ

Mexican-American Miguelito loses his tooth and so begins an amusing battle between the Tooth Fairy and El Ratón Pérez. Colato Laínez keeps the storytelling lively with bilingual exclamations seamlessly embedded in the dialogue between the two tooth-seekers. Through a series of entertaining misadventures the tooth seems unattainable until the rivals agree to work together. Lintern infuses the pixie Tooth Fairy with glowing pastel colors while portraying the dashing El Ratón Pérez with contrasting earthy hues. To perhaps signify the characters’ common goal and eventual collaboration, the illustrator uses the same pale pink for the fairy’s wings and the mouse’s ears. After El Ratón Pérez uses el diente to fashion a rocket ship to visit the moon, the Tooth Fairy gets the tooth to help build her sparkling castle. And not only is Miguelito rewarded with two shiny coins under his pillow, but readers are treated to a clever introduction to two charming folk customs. (author’s note, glossary of Spanish terms) (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 23, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-58246-296-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tricycle

Review Posted Online: Feb. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2010

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BECAUSE I HAD A TEACHER

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift.

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A paean to teachers and their surrogates everywhere.

This gentle ode to a teacher’s skill at inspiring, encouraging, and being a role model is spoken, presumably, from a child’s viewpoint. However, the voice could equally be that of an adult, because who can’t look back upon teachers or other early mentors who gave of themselves and offered their pupils so much? Indeed, some of the self-aware, self-assured expressions herein seem perhaps more realistic as uttered from one who’s already grown. Alternatively, readers won’t fail to note that this small book, illustrated with gentle soy-ink drawings and featuring an adult-child bear duo engaged in various sedentary and lively pursuits, could just as easily be about human parent- (or grandparent-) child pairs: some of the softly colored illustrations depict scenarios that are more likely to occur within a home and/or other family-oriented setting. Makes sense: aren’t parents and other close family members children’s first teachers? This duality suggests that the book might be best shared one-on-one between a nostalgic adult and a child who’s developed some self-confidence, having learned a thing or two from a parent, grandparent, older relative, or classroom instructor.

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943200-08-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: Dec. 13, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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NOT A BOX

Dedicated “to children everywhere sitting in cardboard boxes,” this elemental debut depicts a bunny with big, looping ears demonstrating to a rather thick, unseen questioner (“Are you still standing around in that box?”) that what might look like an ordinary carton is actually a race car, a mountain, a burning building, a spaceship or anything else the imagination might dream up. Portis pairs each question and increasingly emphatic response with a playscape of Crockett Johnson–style simplicity, digitally drawn with single red and black lines against generally pale color fields. Appropriately bound in brown paper, this makes its profound point more directly than such like-themed tales as Marisabina Russo’s Big Brown Box (2000) or Dana Kessimakis Smith’s Brave Spaceboy (2005). (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-06-112322-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2006

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