Although the illustrations may not appeal to everyone, the lovable Bah Koo will likely win over young readers and listeners.


Bah Koo


With a short trunk for a nose, the ears of a cow, and the mane, body, and tail of a lion, Bah Koo is an unusual animal looking for his place in the world in this sweet children’s picture book.

Bah Koo not only looks different from other animals, but also has a “strange and mysterious feeling there was something he was meant to do…but just what it was, he did not know.” Ostracized and sad, he leaves his home. He’s “tired and hungry and cold and wet and all the things that make any of us sad when we are alone and far from home” when he stumbles on two children playing in their treehouse. They bring him into their home and take care of him. He charms everyone, including two friends that no one else can see: the Tooth Fairy and the Sandman. His new acquaintances make him once again feel that he has a gift to share. He finds out what that gift is late one night when one of the children’s moans awakens him. Bah Koo runs to the boy’s room and confronts a nightmare; little Bah Koo instantly grows larger and becomes filled with new power and strength. He now knows his mission, has become aware of the Great Creator, and is ready to find his own home. The second chapter of the story, in which Bah Koo visits a Wise Old Owl in search of more answers, is less interesting than the first. Overall, however, Rhodes’ debut is an engaging retelling of the Asian myth of Baku, the Dream Eater. It tells the story in clear language at a child-friendly pace that makes for a good read-aloud. Readers who know Bah Koo’s Asian origins, however, may wonder about the Anglo-looking humans in the color illustrations. That said, the images’ purple mushrooms, surprised squirrels, and decorative hearts give the book a sketchlike, 1970s-era quality.

Although the illustrations may not appeal to everyone, the lovable Bah Koo will likely win over young readers and listeners. 

Pub Date: April 16, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4809-0168-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Dorrance Publishing Co.

Review Posted Online: Sept. 9, 2015

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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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The greening of Dr. Seuss, in an ecology fable with an obvious message but a savingly silly style. In the desolate land of the Lifted Lorax, an aged creature called the Once-ler tells a young visitor how he arrived long ago in the then glorious country and began manufacturing anomalous objects called Thneeds from "the bright-colored tufts of the Truffula Trees." Despite protests from the Lorax, a native "who speaks for the trees," he continues to chop down Truffulas until he drives away the Brown Bar-ba-loots who had fed on the Tuffula fruit, the Swomee-Swans who can't sing a note for the smogulous smoke, and the Humming-Fish who had hummed in the pond now glumped up with Gluppity-Glupp. As for the Once-let, "1 went right on biggering, selling more Thneeds./ And I biggered my money, which everyone needs" — until the last Truffula falls. But one seed is left, and the Once-let hands it to his listener, with a message from the Lorax: "UNLESS someone like you/ cares a whole awful lot,/ nothing is going to get better./ It's not." The spontaneous madness of the old Dr. Seuss is absent here, but so is the boredom he often induced (in parents, anyway) with one ridiculous invention after another. And if the Once-let doesn't match the Grinch for sheer irresistible cussedness, he is stealing a lot more than Christmas and his story just might induce a generation of six-year-olds to care a whole lot.

Pub Date: Aug. 12, 1971

ISBN: 0394823370

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1971

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