THE CARE AND FEEDING OF FISH

While her parents love ``the sameness of their lives,'' Loulou longs for adventure. On her birthday, she gets a package ``from her great-aunt, who was on a fact-finding, fish-gathering expedition on the tiny island of Tumba-Bumba'' and finds inside a fish and a book of instructions (these are written out in longhand and constitute half the text of the book). Loulou follows the instructions, putting away all her old notions about fish and taking Harold (the fish) for a walk in the park, to her dance class, to her tailor (where he is fitted out in tails), and, eventually, to the opera, where he discovers his true calling. He sails away, leaving a crestfallen Loulou with a consolation prize—another fish. Kaleidoscopic gouache illustrations overflow with unlikely details—beginning with a surreal fish parading about town, cats playing fiddles and drums, and dozens of other weird characters. This cerebral book, with its deliberately directionless plot and reliably unpredictable pictures, successfully echoes the signature style of Maira Kalman. What a debut! What a fish! (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-395-71251-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1996

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A DOG NAMED SAM

A book that will make young dog-owners smile in recognition and confirm dogless readers' worst suspicions about the mayhem caused by pets, even winsome ones. Sam, who bears passing resemblance to an affable golden retriever, is praised for fetching the family newspaper, and goes on to fetch every other newspaper on the block. In the next story, only the children love Sam's swimming; he is yelled at by lifeguards and fishermen alike when he splashes through every watering hole he can find. Finally, there is woe to the entire family when Sam is bored and lonely for one long night. Boland has an essential message, captured in both both story and illustrations of this Easy-to-Read: Kids and dogs belong together, especially when it's a fun-loving canine like Sam. An appealing tale. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-8037-1530-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1996

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TO MARKET, TO MARKET

A marketing trip from Miranda (Glad Monster, Sad Monster, p. 1309) that jiggity jigs off in time-honored nursery-rhyme fashion, but almost immediately derails into well-charted chaos. The foodstuffs—the fat pig, the red hen, the plump goose, the pea pods, peppers, garlic, and spice—are wholly reasonable in light of the author's mention of shopping at traditional Spanish mercados, which stock live animals and vegetables. Stevens transfers the action to a standard American supermarket and a standard American kitchen, bringing hilarity to scenes that combine acrylics, oil pastels, and colored pencil with photo and fabric collage elements. The result is increasing frazzlement for the shopper, an older woman wearing spectacles, hat, and purple pumps (one of which is consumed by her groceries). It's back to market one last time for ingredients for the hot vegetable soup she prepares for the whole bunch. True, her kitchen's trashed and she probably won't find a welcome mat at her supermarket hereafter, but all's well that ends well—at least while the soup's on. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-15-200035-6

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1997

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