KING KENRICK'S SPLINTER

King Kenrick jumps out of bed on Hero's Day morning, only to get a splinter in his toe. Rather than tell the sadistic, tweezers-happy queen about it, he decides to hide the fact. Since his shoes hurt, however, he has to wear slippers, which makes the queen suspicious. She pries the truth from him and is about to get her instruments of torture when the cook, Gloria, tells them of her Uncle Archibald, splinter remover extraordinaire. Uncle Archibald comes and removes the offensive dart, but not without teasing and bullying the king a bit. Kenrick, however, ``wasn't used to having people tell him what to do. (Except for the queen, of course.)'' So when Uncle Archibald finishes his job, the king orders him taken to the dungeon. He's only kidding, though, and Uncle Archibald and he have a good laugh over it. Then King Kenrick puts on his shiny black shoes and leads the Hero's Day parade in style. Derby's (Jacob and the Stranger, p. 843, etc.) little king is adorable; Gore's cartoonish illustrations match the witty tone to a tee. Amusing, especially to anyone who has faced the unhappy tweezers. (Fiction/Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 10, 1994

ISBN: 0-8027-8322-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Walker

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 1994

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SKELETON HICCUPS

Who hasn’t shared the aggravation of a whole day’s worth of bone-rattling hiccups? Poor Skeleton wakes up with a deadly case that he can’t shake, and it’s up to his friend Ghost to think of something to scare them away. Cuyler (Stop, Drop, and Roll, 2001, etc.) cleverly brings readers through the ups and downs of Skeleton’s day, from shower to ball-playing. Home folk remedies (holding his breath, eating sugar) don’t seem to work, but Ghost applies a new perspective startling enough to unhinge listeners and Skeleton alike. While the concept is clever, it’s Schindler’s (How Santa Lost His Job, 2001, etc.) paintings, done with gouache, ink, and watercolor, that carry the day, showing Skeleton’s own unique problems—water pours out of his hollow eyes when he drinks it upside down, his teeth spin out of his head when he brushes them—that make a joke of the circumstances. Oversized spreads open the scene to read-aloud audiences, but hold intimate details for sharp eyes—monster slippers, sugar streaming through the hollow body. For all the hiccupping, this outing has a quiet feel not up to the standards of some of Cuyler’s earlier books, but the right audience will enjoy its fun. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2002

ISBN: 0-689-84770-X

Page Count: 32

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2002

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A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift.

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BECAUSE I HAD A TEACHER

A paean to teachers and their surrogates everywhere.

This gentle ode to a teacher’s skill at inspiring, encouraging, and being a role model is spoken, presumably, from a child’s viewpoint. However, the voice could equally be that of an adult, because who can’t look back upon teachers or other early mentors who gave of themselves and offered their pupils so much? Indeed, some of the self-aware, self-assured expressions herein seem perhaps more realistic as uttered from one who’s already grown. Alternatively, readers won’t fail to note that this small book, illustrated with gentle soy-ink drawings and featuring an adult-child bear duo engaged in various sedentary and lively pursuits, could just as easily be about human parent- (or grandparent-) child pairs: some of the softly colored illustrations depict scenarios that are more likely to occur within a home and/or other family-oriented setting. Makes sense: aren’t parents and other close family members children’s first teachers? This duality suggests that the book might be best shared one-on-one between a nostalgic adult and a child who’s developed some self-confidence, having learned a thing or two from a parent, grandparent, older relative, or classroom instructor.

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943200-08-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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