LORD OF THE FRIES

AND OTHER STORIES

Wynne-Jones (Some of the Kinder Planets, 1995, etc.) gets off to a relatively slow start here, but finishes strong. In most of the seven stories young people find, or re-find, friends: Garnet engineers an effective rebuke (“Ick”) when a new teacher starts hitting on classmate Annaliese; a malicious “Fallen Angel” joins Rodney’s church choir and becomes a dulcet-voiced but deadly rival; in other stories, kindness brings profound rewards, and two classmates discover that they’ve built elaborate, but very different fantasy worlds in the woods and fields between their homes. In the title story, two nosey young people invade the privacy of a surly short-order cook and then have to decide whether or not to go public with the heartwarming human interest story they discover. These economically told tales, leavened with generous quantities of humor and tension, carry their messages lightly, and deserve a welcome from all fans of thoughtful, perceptive writing. (Short stories. 11-14)

Pub Date: March 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-7894-2623-4

Page Count: 214

Publisher: DK Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1999

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THE COLORS OF US

This vibrant, thoughtful book from Katz (Over the Moon, 1997) continues her tribute to her adopted daughter, Lena, born in Guatemala. Lena is “seven. I am the color of cinnamon. Mom says she could eat me up”; she learns during a painting lesson that to get the color brown, she will have to “mix red, yellow, black, and white paints.” They go for a walk to observe the many shades of brown: they see Sonia, who is the color of creamy peanut butter; Isabella, who is chocolate brown; Lucy, both peachy and tan; Jo-Jin, the color of honey; Kyle, “like leaves in fall”; Mr. Pellegrino, the color of pizza crust, golden brown. Lena realizes that every shade is beautiful, then mixes her paints accordingly for portraits of her friends—“The colors of us!” Bold illustrations celebrate diversity with a child’s open-hearted sensibility and a mother’s love. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-8050-5864-8

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1999

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LAUGH-ETERIA

Florian’s seventh collection of verse is also his most uneven; though the flair for clever rhyme that consistently lights up his other books, beginning with Monster Motel (1993), occasionally shows itself—“Hello, my name is Dracula/My clothing is all blackula./I drive a Cadillacula./I am a maniacula”—too many of the entries are routine limericks, putdowns, character portraits, rhymed lists that fall flat on the ear, or quick quips: “It’s hard to be anonymous/When you’re a hippopotamus.” Florian’s language and simple, thick-lined cartoons illustrations are equally ingenuous, and he sticks to tried-and-true subjects, from dinosaurs to school lunch, but the well of inspiration seems dry; revisit his hilarious Bing Bang Boing (1994) instead. (index) (Poetry. 8-10)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-15-202084-5

Page Count: 158

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1999

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