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 QUILTMAKER'S GIFT

A sentimental tale overwhelmed by busy illustrations and rampant pedantry. A gifted quiltmaker who makes outstanding quilts never sells her wares, but gives them away to the poor. A greedy king so loves presents that he has two birthdays a year, and commands everyone in the kingdom to give him gifts. Everyone brings presents till the castle overflows; the king, still unhappy, locates the quiltmaker and directs her to make him a quilt. When she refuses he tries to feed her to a hungry bear, then to leave her on a tiny island, but each time the quiltmaker’s kindness results in her rescue. At last, the king agrees to a bargain; he will give away his many things, and the quiltmaker will sew him a quilt. He is soon poor, but happier than he’s ever been, and she fulfills her end of the bargain; they remain partners forever after, with her sewing the quilts and him giving them away. The illustrations are elaborate, filled with clues to quilt names. A note points to the 250 different quilt names hidden in the picture on the inside of the book jacket. (Picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1999

ISBN: 1-57025-199-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1999

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THE MAGIC SCHOOL BUS EXPLORES THE SENSES

The way-off-road vehicle (The Magic School Bus and the Electric Field, 1997, etc.) tours the ears, eyes, nose, and skin when the assistant principal, Mr. Wilde, accidentally shrinks the school bus and the children on board, commandeering it to deliver a message to Ms. Frizzle. The vehicle plunges into the eye of a police officer, where the students explore the pupil, the cornea, the retina, and the optic nerve leading to the brain. Then it’s on to other senses, via the ear of a small child, the nose of a dog, and the tongue of the Friz herself. Sidebars and captions add to the blizzard of information here; with a combination of plot, details, and jokes, the trip is anything but dull. The facts will certainly entice readers to learn more about the ways living creatures perceive the world. (Picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: March 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-590-44697-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1999

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