Compassionate and imaginative (Picture book. 5-9)

THE CURIOUS FOX

A young fox wonders how he can discover what makes him unique in this big world.

After Fox wakes up he asks himself, “I wonder if I have a feature / that sets me ’part from other creatures?” Leaving his mother asleep in their den, he decides to find out. Fox recalls that whenever he has had any problem his first instinct is to sniff the problem out. He figures it must be his nose that makes him special, until he meets a hog with such a spectacular nose his own seems puny in comparison. The kindly hog agrees his nose is useful, but he yearns for a longer neck—rather like Fox’s. Encouraged, Fox continues feeling good about his neck until he meets…a giraffe! The story continues with Fox meeting creature after creature, all of which have better attributes than he. Tail down, he goes home and tells mother, “This day has been the worstest ever!” Mammy Fox consoles him but also guides him to understand how his remarkable journey has taught him important life lessons. McDonagh’s gentle rhyming couplets weave a sense of warmth into this Irish import, which is longer than what many North American readers will be accustomed to, frequently offering eight four-line stanzas in a double-page spread. O’Brien’s evocative illustrations balance the tone of the text. Young readers who wonder about their own individuality will easily identify with Fox’s quest.

Compassionate and imaginative (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Dec. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-84730-682-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Veritas Publications/Dufour Editions

Review Posted Online: Oct. 11, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

THE GIRL WHO LOVED WILD HORSES

            There are many parallel legends – the seal women, for example, with their strange sad longings – but none is more direct than this American Indian story of a girl who is carried away in a horses’ stampede…to ride thenceforth by the side of a beautiful stallion who leads the wild horses.  The girl had always loved horses, and seemed to understand them “in a special way”; a year after her disappearance her people find her riding beside the stallion, calf in tow, and take her home despite his strong resistance.  But she is unhappy and returns to the stallion; after that, a beautiful mare is seen riding always beside him.  Goble tells the story soberly, allowing it to settle, to find its own level.  The illustrations are in the familiar striking Goble style, but softened out here and there with masses of flowers and foliage – suitable perhaps for the switch in subject matter from war to love, but we miss the spanking clean design of Custer’s Last Battle and The Fetterman Fight.          6-7

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1978

ISBN: 0689845049

Page Count: -

Publisher: Bradbury

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1978

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

This story covers the few days preceding the much-anticipated Midnight Zombie Walk, when Stink and company will take to the...

STINK AND THE MIDNIGHT ZOMBIE WALK

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more