A fun main character, important lessons and an emphasis on French culture will make this a memorable experience for early...

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THE AMBERELLA TALES

AMBERELLA IN THE CITY

After puppy leaves the farm to live in the city, she must adjust to life with her spoiled poodle sisters, obedience school and her first crush.

In the first book of a promising series, Kaupp introduces sweet, friendly Amberella Corgi Stafford, the young offspring of a Welsh corgi and Staffordshire bull terrier. Always up for new adventures, Amberella leaves her home on the farm to go live with a sophisticated family in the city. The family includes two prissy poodle sisters, Zozue and Tutsu, and Grand-mére, a human who can hear dogs talk. Shallow Zozue and Tutsu immediately dismiss their new sister, shocked to discover that they’re supposed to accept the country-bred puppy as one of their own. But after a few incidences of inhospitable behavior, the sisters realize that Amberella isn’t going anywhere; they grow to like her. Grand-mére sends Amberella to obedience school, where, after she develops a crush on a black Labrador named Prince, she must navigate new, unexpected feelings. While the “city mouse, country mouse” plot is one that’s been covered many times before, this book offers useful lessons for elementary-grade readers, such as how to handle bullying, make friends and understand a crush. But what sets Kaupp’s debut apart is that Grand-mére takes the puppies to Paris to reunite with Tutsu and Zozue’s old governess and take in the sights. Not only are French words sprinkled throughout—a handy word list at the front of the book provides translations and pronunciation help—but the dogs also visit major French sites like Versailles. Kaupp’s writing is also engaging, and short chapters and illustrations sprinkled throughout make this a manageable text for young readers.

A fun main character, important lessons and an emphasis on French culture will make this a memorable experience for early readers. 

Pub Date: Jan. 24, 2012

ISBN: 978-1466905948

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Trafford

Review Posted Online: April 16, 2012

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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...

RALPH TELLS A STORY

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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One of those rare thrillers whose answers are even more scarifying than its mysteries.

AFTER ALL I'VE DONE

A middle-aged woman sidelined by a horrific accident finds even sharper pains waiting on the other side of her recuperation in this expert nightmare by Hardy, familiar to many readers as Megan Hart, author of All the Secrets We Keep (2017), etc.

Five months ago, while she was on her way to the hospital with an ailing gallbladder, Diana Sparrow’s car hit a deer on a rural Pennsylvania road. When she awoke, she was minus her gallbladder, two working collarbones (and therefore two functioning arms), and her memory. During a recovery that would’ve been impossible without the constant ministrations of Harriett Richmond, the mother-in-law who’s the real reason Diana married her husband, Jonathan, Diana’s discovered that Jonathan has been cheating on her with her childhood friend Valerie Delagatti. Divorce is out of the question: Diana’s grown used to the pampered lifestyle the prenup she’d signed would snatch away from her. Every day is filled with torments. She slips and falls in a pool of wine on her kitchen floor she’s sure she didn’t spill herself. At the emergency room, her credit card and debit card are declined. She feels that she hates oppressively solicitous Harriett but has no idea why. Her sessions with her psychiatrist fail to heal her rage at her adoptive mother, an addict who abandoned her then returned only to disappear again and die an ugly death. Even worse, her attempts to recover her lost memory lead to an excruciatingly paced series of revelations. Val says Diana asked her to seduce Jonathan. Diana realizes that Cole, a fellow student in her watercolor class, isn’t the stranger she’d thought he was. Where can this maze of deceptions possibly end?

One of those rare thrillers whose answers are even more scarifying than its mysteries.

Pub Date: Nov. 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-64385-470-0

Page Count: 310

Publisher: Crooked Lane

Review Posted Online: Aug. 19, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

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CINDERELLA

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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