A WALK IN NEW YORK

This is not, of course, about New York City as a whole, but about Manhattan, as nearly all such volumes aimed at young people are. A boy and his dad come into Grand Central on the commuter train. In the boy’s voice, readers hear of their travels to the Empire State Building (on a rather spiffy foldout), the New York Public Library, Macy’s, Union Square and Greenwich Village. Various factlets are scattered throughout, separate from the boy’s narrative, and while none seem to be incorrect, no sources are given anywhere. The Lenape name for the Hudson River, Muhheakantuck, is described merely as an “American Indian name,” and the Wickquasgeck Trail (Broadway) is similarly described, which undercuts the specificity of a spread in which passersby exchange greetings in seven of New York’s 170 languages. The 1950s-look mixed-media art is done in earth tones with hints of sunniness. It’s very pretty, but doesn’t replace other such standbys as Kathy Jakobsen’s My New York (1993, 2003). (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: April 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-7636-3855-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2009

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

UNICORN WINGS

The can’t-miss subject of this Step into Reading series entry—a unicorn with a magic horn who also longs for wings—trumps its text, which is dry even by easy-reader standards. A boy unicorn, whose horn has healing powers, reveals his wish to a butterfly in a castle garden, a bluebird in the forest and a snowy white swan in a pond. Falling asleep at the edge of the sea, the unicorn is visited by a winged white mare. He heals her broken wing and she flies away. After sadly invoking his wish once more, he sees his reflection: “He had big white wings!” He flies off after the mare, because he “wanted to say, ‘Thank you.’ ” Perfectly suiting this confection, Silin-Palmer’s pictures teem with the mass market–fueled iconography of what little girls are (ostensibly) made of: rainbows, flowers, twinkly stars and, of course, manes down to there. (Easy reader. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 24, 2006

ISBN: 0-375-83117-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2006

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more