In general, the information overload isdifficult for an adult to digest let alone a young reader.A valuable lesson in need...

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MICKEY OF LAS VEGAS

This wordy children’s tale follows a show dog in Las Vegas whose lack of talent and huge appetiteleads to eventual retirement in Sun City.

Maurice, nicknamed Mickey, is part of a poodle act called “Mr. Hugo and His Amazing Dogs,” runby a showman and magician with the assistance of his daughter Clarice. Along with Pepe, Prince, Gigiand Simone—who jump through flaming hoops, waltz, sing and clown around—Mickey spends his dayson the hotel and children’s party circuit. Unlike his fellow pooches, however, the only “trick” Mickey cando is disappear from a blue box then magically reappear in a red box via a narrow underground plastictube connecting the two. One day Mickey manages to sneak out and eat all the leftovers in the hotelkitchen, which leaves him too bloated to pull off the act at the next night’s show. Mr. Hugo banishes Mickey, but Clarice takes pity on the poorpoodle and drives him to the Sun City area of Las Vegas where she and her friend Steve discover an animal hospital. There they pretend Mickeyis a lost dog that they found in order to leave him in the care of the kindly Dr. Andrews. Soon Mickey befriends a tan poodle named Jerry—afriendship that will change his life. While this colorfully illustrated story has a worthwhile moral of loving someone “for who he is, not just lovedfor what he can do,” the book itself is so cluttered with extraneous words and details that it’s like digging for a buried bone to get to the heart ofMickey’s tale. Parenthetical asides such as “(This is a French name too, and it sounds like Clare-e-e-e-ce.)” and “(Clarice was afraid to do thisherself because someone might recognize her from the show.)” are not only unnecessary but distracting.

In general, the information overload isdifficult for an adult to digest let alone a young reader.A valuable lesson in need of streamlining.

Pub Date: June 29, 2008

ISBN: 978-1-4363-4641-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Xlibris

Review Posted Online: Jan. 3, 2011

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More gift book than storybook, this is a meaningful addition to nursery bookshelves

MAYBE

A young child explores the unlimited potential inherent in all humans.

“Have you ever wondered why you are here?” asks the second-person narration. There is no one like you. Maybe you’re here to make a difference with your uniqueness; maybe you will speak for those who can’t or use your gifts to shine a light into the darkness. The no-frills, unrhymed narrative encourages readers to follow their hearts and tap into their limitless potential to be anything and do anything. The precisely inked and colored artwork plays with perspective from the first double-page spread, in which the child contemplates a mountain (or maybe an iceberg) in their hands. Later, they stand on a ladder to place white spots on tall, red mushrooms. The oversized flora and fauna seem to symbolize the presumptively insurmountable, reinforcing the book’s message that anything is possible. This quiet read, with its sophisticated central question, encourages children to reach for their untapped potential while reminding them it won’t be easy—they will make messes and mistakes—but the magic within can help overcome falls and failures. It’s unlikely that members of the intended audience have begun to wonder about their life’s purpose, but this life-affirming mood piece has honorable intentions. The child, accompanied by an adorable piglet and sporting overalls and a bird-beaked cap made of leaves, presents white.

More gift book than storybook, this is a meaningful addition to nursery bookshelves . (Picture book. 2-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-946873-75-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: May 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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THE LORAX

The greening of Dr. Seuss, in an ecology fable with an obvious message but a savingly silly style. In the desolate land of the Lifted Lorax, an aged creature called the Once-ler tells a young visitor how he arrived long ago in the then glorious country and began manufacturing anomalous objects called Thneeds from "the bright-colored tufts of the Truffula Trees." Despite protests from the Lorax, a native "who speaks for the trees," he continues to chop down Truffulas until he drives away the Brown Bar-ba-loots who had fed on the Tuffula fruit, the Swomee-Swans who can't sing a note for the smogulous smoke, and the Humming-Fish who had hummed in the pond now glumped up with Gluppity-Glupp. As for the Once-let, "1 went right on biggering, selling more Thneeds./ And I biggered my money, which everyone needs" — until the last Truffula falls. But one seed is left, and the Once-let hands it to his listener, with a message from the Lorax: "UNLESS someone like you/ cares a whole awful lot,/ nothing is going to get better./ It's not." The spontaneous madness of the old Dr. Seuss is absent here, but so is the boredom he often induced (in parents, anyway) with one ridiculous invention after another. And if the Once-let doesn't match the Grinch for sheer irresistible cussedness, he is stealing a lot more than Christmas and his story just might induce a generation of six-year-olds to care a whole lot.

Pub Date: Aug. 12, 1971

ISBN: 0394823370

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1971

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