Little girls who are willing to work a bit for their understanding are likely to enjoy this wonderfully illustrated story...

She Yelled. I Screamed…She Pulled my Hair!

AN UNFAIRY TALE

In rhymed couplets, this debut book displays the challenges of sharing with a little sister.

Narrated by Phoebe—who has a sister, Audrey—this first story in a planned series begins in summer, when heat is making the girls so irritable that they are no longer kind to each other. Every time Phoebe asks Audrey to share their teapot, Audrey yells, Phoebe screams, and Audrey pulls Phoebe’s hair. Soon, Phoebe grabs and then throws the teapot, hitting Audrey’s foot. Without saying sorry, Phoebe heads for the shade of a tree and voices aloud her wish for Audrey to share. Immediately, a winged lady appears and reveals a sharing spell that involves giving Audrey leaves from a magical tree, coupled with kisses. Phoebe expects everything to be easy now that she has a magic spell, but it takes perseverance—as well as magic, a whole lot of leaves and kisses, and a change of seasons—for the sisters to finally get along. The text doubles as a playground for graphical elements by Leshay and James Renald: The word “burn” is on fire, while “shake” imitates quivering. The impressive black-and-white photographs invite deeper attention, but they can sometimes feel separate from the story. For example, depending on mood and angle, Audrey looks so different that young readers may find it difficult to figure out whom to follow. At times, the text is also confusing, as when Audrey rather randomly tells a stuffed bunny it can’t have a car—“No car for Woo Wabbit!” Still, as part of a read-along, the uncommonly artful photos plot a refreshing path toward a heartfelt message.

Little girls who are willing to work a bit for their understanding are likely to enjoy this wonderfully illustrated story with its successful treatment of text as graphics and some fresh ideas about sharing.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: 978-0-9899988-3-3

Page Count: -

Publisher: Again Again Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2015

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More gift book than storybook, this is a meaningful addition to nursery bookshelves

MAYBE

A young child explores the unlimited potential inherent in all humans.

“Have you ever wondered why you are here?” asks the second-person narration. There is no one like you. Maybe you’re here to make a difference with your uniqueness; maybe you will speak for those who can’t or use your gifts to shine a light into the darkness. The no-frills, unrhymed narrative encourages readers to follow their hearts and tap into their limitless potential to be anything and do anything. The precisely inked and colored artwork plays with perspective from the first double-page spread, in which the child contemplates a mountain (or maybe an iceberg) in their hands. Later, they stand on a ladder to place white spots on tall, red mushrooms. The oversized flora and fauna seem to symbolize the presumptively insurmountable, reinforcing the book’s message that anything is possible. This quiet read, with its sophisticated central question, encourages children to reach for their untapped potential while reminding them it won’t be easy—they will make messes and mistakes—but the magic within can help overcome falls and failures. It’s unlikely that members of the intended audience have begun to wonder about their life’s purpose, but this life-affirming mood piece has honorable intentions. The child, accompanied by an adorable piglet and sporting overalls and a bird-beaked cap made of leaves, presents white.

More gift book than storybook, this is a meaningful addition to nursery bookshelves . (Picture book. 2-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-946873-75-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: May 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS

With the same delightfully irreverent spirit that he brought to his retelling of "Little Red Riding Hood" (1987), Marshall enlivens another favorite. Although completely retold with his usual pungent wit and contemporary touches ("I don't mind if I do," says Goldilocks, as she tries out porridge, chair, and bed), Marshall retains the stories well-loved pattern, including Goldilocks escaping through the window (whereupon Baby Bear inquires, "Who was that little girl?"). The illustrations are fraught with delicious humor and detail: books that are stacked everywhere around the rather cluttered house, including some used in lieu of a missing leg for Papa Bear's chair; comically exaggerated beds—much too high at the head and the foot; and Baby Bear's wonderfully messy room, which certainly brings the story into the 20th century. Like its predecessor, perfect for several uses, from picture-book hour to beginning reading.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1988

ISBN: 0140563660

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1988

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