A beautifully illustrated collection of familiar and exotic creatures from the Southwest.


Desert Moms

The Southwestern desert comes alive in this volume filled with striking images of animal families.

Laid out against an orange background, the earth-toned paintings of animal mothers and their babies tempt readers to look at the details—frequently prompted by a question in the text. The story begins with fox babies playing hide-and-seek as their mother tries to spot them against the backdrop of a vibrant mountain sunrise. Next, a bobcat mother and her kittens stare out at the reader, followed by a javelina and her reds (“The babies are called ‘reds’ because the color can be seen in their bristly hair”) and a doe with her fawns. Many of the animals are familiar: ravens, coyotes, and prairie dogs will come as no surprise to young readers. Others, however, may be revelations, including javelinas, elf owls, and ringtail cats, which “are related to the raccoon” and “are nocturnal animals.” For readers native to southern Arizona, where author and illustrator Burton (When I Grow Up, 2013) lives part time, it should be fun to see their regional animals highlighted. For others, the book should serve as an entertaining introduction to some intriguing creatures. The text is fairly pedestrian—nearly every page features some variation on the Southwestern desert, “where the sun shines brightly,” which feels more like a repetition than a pleasing refrain. But the wonderful artwork shines. And the invitations to count the number of kittens, guess what kind of creature a javelina might be related to, and decide whether a roadrunner’s breakfast is “yummy or yucky” are likely to charm young lap readers or emergent grade school students. Young equine enthusiasts are sure to fall in love with the idea of wild horses roaming free in the desert, and Burton’s romantic placement of feathers in a mare’s mane makes the rendering one of her most eye-catching. The collection of facts is a splendid introduction without being overwhelming, and the tone of the narrative is a comforting one, making this a likely selection for bedtime reading.

A beautifully illustrated collection of familiar and exotic creatures from the Southwest.

Pub Date: Jan. 11, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4575-4375-3

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Dog Ear

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2016

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An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some...


With a little help from his audience, a young storyteller gets over a solid case of writer’s block in this engaging debut.

Despite the (sometimes creatively spelled) examples produced by all his classmates and the teacher’s assertion that “Stories are everywhere!” Ralph can’t get past putting his name at the top of his paper. One day, lying under the desk in despair, he remembers finding an inchworm in the park. That’s all he has, though, until his classmates’ questions—“Did it feel squishy?” “Did your mom let you keep it?” “Did you name it?”—open the floodgates for a rousing yarn featuring an interloping toddler, a broad comic turn and a dramatic rescue. Hanlon illustrates the episode with childlike scenes done in transparent colors, featuring friendly-looking children with big smiles and widely spaced button eyes. The narrative text is printed in standard type, but the children’s dialogue is rendered in hand-lettered printing within speech balloons. The episode is enhanced with a page of elementary writing tips and the tantalizing titles of his many subsequent stories (“When I Ate Too Much Spaghetti,” “The Scariest Hamster,” “When the Librarian Yelled Really Loud at Me,” etc.) on the back endpapers.

An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some budding young writers off and running. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2012

ISBN: 978-0761461807

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Amazon Children's Publishing

Review Posted Online: Aug. 22, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2012

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One of those rare thrillers whose answers are even more scarifying than its mysteries.


A middle-aged woman sidelined by a horrific accident finds even sharper pains waiting on the other side of her recuperation in this expert nightmare by Hardy, familiar to many readers as Megan Hart, author of All the Secrets We Keep (2017), etc.

Five months ago, while she was on her way to the hospital with an ailing gallbladder, Diana Sparrow’s car hit a deer on a rural Pennsylvania road. When she awoke, she was minus her gallbladder, two working collarbones (and therefore two functioning arms), and her memory. During a recovery that would’ve been impossible without the constant ministrations of Harriett Richmond, the mother-in-law who’s the real reason Diana married her husband, Jonathan, Diana’s discovered that Jonathan has been cheating on her with her childhood friend Valerie Delagatti. Divorce is out of the question: Diana’s grown used to the pampered lifestyle the prenup she’d signed would snatch away from her. Every day is filled with torments. She slips and falls in a pool of wine on her kitchen floor she’s sure she didn’t spill herself. At the emergency room, her credit card and debit card are declined. She feels that she hates oppressively solicitous Harriett but has no idea why. Her sessions with her psychiatrist fail to heal her rage at her adoptive mother, an addict who abandoned her then returned only to disappear again and die an ugly death. Even worse, her attempts to recover her lost memory lead to an excruciatingly paced series of revelations. Val says Diana asked her to seduce Jonathan. Diana realizes that Cole, a fellow student in her watercolor class, isn’t the stranger she’d thought he was. Where can this maze of deceptions possibly end?

One of those rare thrillers whose answers are even more scarifying than its mysteries.

Pub Date: Nov. 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-64385-470-0

Page Count: 310

Publisher: Crooked Lane

Review Posted Online: Aug. 19, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

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This companion piece to the other fairy tales Marcia Brown has interpreted (see Puss In Boots, 1952, p. 548 and others) has the smoothness of a good translation and a unique charm to her feathery light pictures. The pictures have been done in sunset colors and the spreads on each page as they illustrate the story have the cumulative effect of soft cloud banks. Gentle.

Pub Date: June 15, 1954

ISBN: 0684126761

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1954

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