An early chapter book with a pleasantly recognizable cast of characters that, disappointingly, misses the opportunity to...

DAISY'S PERFECT WORD

From the Daisy series , Vol. 1

Daisy, a collector of admirable words, wants to find the perfect word to give her teacher as a gift.

An early-grade primary-school student, Daisy has lots of favorite words she collects in her notebook. After the children find out their gentle teacher is getting married, they all want to bring her gifts. Daisy’s pleasure in her search, though, is complicated by Samantha, her next-door neighbor and classmate she finds annoying. An otherwise congenial child, Daisy does whatever she can to avoid Samantha—including cutting through shrubbery to meet her friend Emma and pulling up her hood and singing as she hurries by Samantha’s house. All of this carefully planned avoidance of Samantha seems to be leading up to Daisy's recognition of her own subtle bullying and perhaps her selection of a perfect word like “friend” that represents this understanding. Instead, her frequently depicted problems with Samantha are never directly addressed.  The perfect word Daisy finally chooses, “giggle,” does elicit a pleasing compliment from Samantha that may hint at an improvement in their relationship. Simple, charming illustrations appear on almost every spread; pages feature wide spacing and limited text, an inviting presentation for very young independent readers.

An early chapter book with a pleasantly recognizable cast of characters that, disappointingly, misses the opportunity to gently address a pertinent issue. (Fiction. 5-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-55453-645-0

Page Count: 88

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2012

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Very young gardeners will need more information, but for certain picky eaters, the suggested strategy just might work.

SYLVIA'S SPINACH

A young spinach hater becomes a spinach lover after she has to grow her own in a class garden.

Unable to trade away the seed packet she gets from her teacher for tomatoes, cukes or anything else more palatable, Sylvia reluctantly plants and nurtures a pot of the despised veggie then transplants it outside in early spring. By the end of school, only the plot’s lettuce, radishes and spinach are actually ready to eat (talk about a badly designed class project!)—and Sylvia, once she nerves herself to take a nibble, discovers that the stuff is “not bad.” She brings home an armful and enjoys it from then on in every dish: “And that was the summer Sylvia Spivens said yes to spinach.” Raff uses unlined brushwork to give her simple cartoon illustrations a pleasantly freehand, airy look, and though Pryor skips over the (literally, for spinach) gritty details in both the story and an afterword, she does cover gardening basics in a simple and encouraging way.

Very young gardeners will need more information, but for certain picky eaters, the suggested strategy just might work. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Nov. 6, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-9836615-1-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Readers to Eaters

Review Posted Online: Sept. 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2012

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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

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