A warm, funny book that will hearten kids with allergies.

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NUTLEY, THE NUT-FREE SQUIRREL

A squirrel handles his nut allergy with aplomb—and a little help from his friends—in Sorkin’s debut picture book.

One day, Nutley the squirrel is simply eating “what a squirrel eats” when he has a strange reaction. He itches, puffs up and breaks out in hives, and soon, his fears are confirmed: He has an allergy. (In the illustration, he eats from a big bag of peanuts, which may make some young readers point out that real squirrels eat acorns; however, peanuts are a more familiar allergen in the human world.) In a series of friendly, if singsong, rhymes, Nutley turns out to be a smart little squirrel: He takes charge of his newly discovered allergy in a way that would make any pediatric allergist proud—by making a plan. He talks to his friends, asks for help and focuses on the favorite foods that he can still safely eat, such as gummy bears. At first, he worries that he’ll seem strange to others (“A squirrel allergic to nuts—how odd! / I thought I’d feel alone.”), but his friend the dog immediately speaks up (“I’m a dog allergic to bones!”). It also turns out that the pelican is allergic to fish; the bee, to pollen; and the fly, to stone fruit. Although the verse skips along at a merry pace, some rhymes occasionally fall flat (“Surprising as it is to all, / since I do live in a tree, / I must avoid peanuts and tree nuts / to keep myself healthy”). However, Sorkin’s tale manages to be instructive without being didactic and will likely prove to be a fun read for even allergy-free children. The illustrations engagingly portray Nutley and his crew of supportive friends as looking just as friendly and likable as they appear in the text.

A warm, funny book that will hearten kids with allergies.

Pub Date: April 2, 2013

ISBN: 978-1620861585

Page Count: 30

Publisher: Mascot Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 14, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2014

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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...

RALPH TELLS A STORY

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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CINDERELLA

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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