BLOSSOM CULP AND THE SLEEP OF DEATH

From the Blossom Culp series , Vol. 4

Fans of the unflappable Blossom Culp and Alexander Armsworth, her unwitting companion in the occult, will welcome this fourth book about Blossom with open arms. The impoverished Blossom, a freshman in Bluff City High School's Class of 1918, and still an outcast (her mother, a gypsy fortuneteller, spends her nights roaming through Bluff City, stealing junk to resell as "antiques") is pleasantly surprised by her new history teacher. Augusta Fairweather is young, outspoken, and a supporter of the suffragette cause; she immerses her students in an unorthodox (for 1914) study of ancient Egypt. Blossom is fascinated, and no sooner has she delved into the mysteries of pyramids, tombs, and mummies than she is visited by the "spiritual self' of Princess Sat-Hathor, who has been buried (but not quite dead) for about 3800 years. The princess gives Blossom the task of recovering and returning to her Egyptian tomb "everything beautiful and necessary" that had been taken by thieves 50 years earlier. The deed seems nearly impossible, but Blossom enlists Alexander's begrudging help, and with the force of their combined powers and a lot of luck, Blossom manages not only to satisfy the demanding princess, but to give her nemesis, Letty Shambagh, her comeuppance. This story provides an engaging glimpse into the simpler, yet somehow not so different life-style of 70 years ago, while poking fun at the social structure of a small town. Blossom remains a memorable, indomitable character. If readers can overlook several unbelievable coincidences that help her accomplish her task, they'll enjoy this offbeat, spirited tale of a resourceful girl facing a challenge with courage and humor.

Pub Date: March 7, 1986

ISBN: 0440901251

Page Count: -

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1986

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Vital messages of self-love for darker-skinned children.

THE NIGHT IS YOURS

On hot summer nights, Amani’s parents permit her to go outside and play in the apartment courtyard, where the breeze is cool and her friends are waiting.

The children jump rope to the sounds of music as it floats through a neighbor’s window, gaze at stars in the night sky, and play hide-and-seek in the moonlight. It is in the moonlight that Amani and her friends are themselves found by the moon, and it illumines the many shades of their skin, which vary from light tan to deep brown. In a world where darkness often evokes ideas of evil or fear, this book is a celebration of things that are dark and beautiful—like a child’s dark skin and the night in which she plays. The lines “Show everyone else how to embrace the night like you. Teach them how to be a night-owning girl like you” are as much an appeal for her to love and appreciate her dark skin as they are the exhortation for Amani to enjoy the night. There is a sense of security that flows throughout this book. The courtyard is safe and homelike. The moon, like an additional parent, seems to be watching the children from the sky. The charming full-bleed illustrations, done in washes of mostly deep blues and greens, make this a wonderful bedtime story.

Vital messages of self-love for darker-skinned children. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: July 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-55271-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

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An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way.

NOAH CHASES THE WIND

A young boy sees things a little differently than others.

Noah can see patterns in the dust when it sparkles in the sunlight. And if he puts his nose to the ground, he can smell the “green tang of the ants in the grass.” His most favorite thing of all, however, is to read. Noah has endless curiosity about how and why things work. Books open the door to those answers. But there is one question the books do not explain. When the wind comes whistling by, where does it go? Noah decides to find out. In a chase that has a slight element of danger—wind, after all, is unpredictable—Noah runs down streets, across bridges, near a highway, until the wind lifts him off his feet. Cowman’s gusty wisps show each stream of air turning a different jewel tone, swirling all around. The ribbons gently bring Noah home, setting him down under the same thinking tree where he began. Did it really happen? Worthington’s sensitive exploration leaves readers with their own set of questions and perhaps gratitude for all types of perspective. An author’s note mentions children on the autism spectrum but widens to include all who feel a little different.

An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-60554-356-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Redleaf Lane

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

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