A Romani story to share and treasure.


From the Travellers' Tales series

A boy’s dream gives his family hope.

Yokki and his family are Travelers, or Romani. They live in canvas tents, sell their handmade goods, and mend household objects when not working in the fields. Yokki has a special gift that is treasured; he tells “the best tales.” But one year, work is hard to find and money is scarce. Finally finding a place where they can rest, the family gathers around the fire and listens as Yokki tells a tale “from his dreams,” of a great horse called the Parno Gry. Still, things get worse for the Romani family as they are forced to sell almost all their possessions. Grandma, the Phuri Dai, agrees that a story about the horse will help lift their spirits. It is a tale of wonder, as the great white steed carries them all to a green land of plenty. And so the story remains with all the following generations, who “believe that as long as they value children’s imaginations, the Parno Gry will inspire them with new ideas and possibilities.” O’Neill, an honored Traveler storyteller from the British Isles, and Quarmby have collaborated on a gentle story of a different culture in which dreams inspire. Nelissen’s mixed-media illustrations are softly textured, colorful, and atmospheric.

A Romani story to share and treasure. (authors’ note, glossary) (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-84643-927-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Child's Play

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

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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...


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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A potential gift for fans of the contributors’ earlier work.


A text-heavy, joke-filled monograph about a dreaded bestowal.

In this meta text, an unseen narrator gripes about everything they wish they had received as a present, including a dog and a skateboard. “Now I feel like I have to read it,” the narrator grumps about their book gift. In subsequent spreads, they express their frustration. Sensitive bibliophiles beware: The narrator is ruthless in their scorn of giving books as presents. Some may tire of the message, repeated page after page in different ways: “Look, I’m a doer, not a reader,” one page reads, accompanied by an image of a muscled arm. The narrator makes references to clogging the toilet with homemade slime (“I told them it most definitely wasn’t me”)—a moment that will appeal to older kids who can grasp and revel in the humor. Human skin is shown as printer paper white, tan, and blue. Layouts are boisterous yet uncluttered, using text in various sizes, colors, and fonts. Pleasant near-pastel yellow, blue, and purple back up goofy illustrations, sure to draw interest even if the quips go over younger kids’ heads. Some elements, like the desire to receive X-ray vision as a present, will resonate widely with the target audience, though the story largely treads similar ground as Greenfield and Lowery’s I Don’t Want To Read This Book (2021). (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A potential gift for fans of the contributors’ earlier work. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 18, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-46236-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: July 13, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2022

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