MY FATHER'S BOAT

From Garland (The Last Rainmaker, 1997, etc.), a treasure for readers to open again and again, for the beauty of the lyrical prose, and the powerful, bittersweet story of family love. Before sunrise, a Vietnamese immigrant and his son set out on a fishing boat to catch shrimp off the Texas coast. Evoked are the sounds and scent of the sea, the hard work of the fishermen, and the loving relationships between generations. The boy notices that “it feels lonely, out on the sea, but my father says that is part of a fisherman’s life—being alone with the ocean and sky and creatures living below, and alone with your memories.” When they stop to eat cold rice and sip hot tea, the father sings songs he learned in Vietnam, and tells his son about his own fisherman father: “He taught me all I am teaching you. But when the war came to our little village on the other side of the world, he could not leave the land he loved, and I could not stay.” On the road home, the tired boy sleeps, dreaming “that they are together: my grandfather, father, and I—out on the lonely sea in my father’s beautiful boat.” Acrylic and watercolor illustrations extend the mood of the story, from the fog-enshrouded first spread of sunrise to full daylight the following day, and endpapers of white gulls whirling against the magenta sky. Beautiful and compelling. (Picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: May 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-590-47867-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 1998

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

BUBBA, THE COWBOY PRINCE

A FRACTURED TEXAS TALE

A Cinderella parody features the off-the-wall, whang-dang Texas hyperbole of Ketteman (The Year of No More Corn, 1993, etc.) and the insouciance of Warhola, who proves himself only too capable of creating a fairy godcow; that she's so appealingly whimsical makes it easy to accept the classic tale's inversions. The protagonist is Bubba, appropriately downtrodden and overworked by his wicked stepdaddy and loathsome brothers Dwayne and Milton, who spend their days bossing him around. The other half of the happy couple is Miz Lurleen, who owns ``the biggest spread west of the Brazos.'' She craves male companionship to help her work the place, ``and it wouldn't hurt if he was cute as a cow's ear, either.'' There are no surprises in this version except in the hilarious way the premise plays itself out and in Warhola's delightful visual surprises. When Lurleen tracks the bootless Bubba down, ``Dwayne and Milton and their wicked daddy threw chicken fits.'' Bubba and babe, hair as big as a Texas sun, ride off to a life of happy ranching, and readers will be proud to have been along for the courtship. (Picture book/folklore. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-590-25506-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1997

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more