Not just an illustrated version of the rhyme, this is a fleshed-out account of a lamb’s tail/tale that all children and...

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MARY AND HER LITTLE LAMB

THE TRUE STORY OF THE NURSERY RHYME

The "real" story of Mary and her lamb, as the subtitle states, as told and illustrated in Moses’ familiar folk-art style.

Most people assume this poem is a Mother Goose rhyme, but this is not the case. It’s a true story of a little girl named Mary whose lamb followed her to school. In his foreword, Moses recalls the background of the tale and how he discovered it by chance. His narrative of the event as he imagines it follows, and the backmatter provides both the song and the history of the rhyme. Mary Elizabeth Sawyer was born in 1806 in Sterling, Mass., and attended the Redstone Schoolhouse in Sudbury, Mass. John Roulstone witnessed the lamb episode and wrote the first stanza of the poem. Later, in 1830, Sarah Josepha Hale published it and added three more stanzas. What lends quaintness to the tale are Moses’ rustic, oil paintings that pair nicely with the vintage tale. Each scene and wordless double-page spread is filled with details of bygone days to fascinate kids.

Not just an illustrated version of the rhyme, this is a fleshed-out account of a lamb’s tail/tale that all children and adults should know. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Dec. 8, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25154-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2011

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An all-day sugar rush, putting the “fun” back into, er, education.

IF I BUILT A SCHOOL

A young visionary describes his ideal school: “Perfectly planned and impeccably clean. / On a scale, 1 to 10, it’s more like 15!”

In keeping with the self-indulgently fanciful lines of If I Built a Car (2005) and If I Built a House (2012), young Jack outlines in Seussian rhyme a shiny, bright, futuristic facility in which students are swept to open-roofed classes in clear tubes, there are no tests but lots of field trips, and art, music, and science are afterthoughts next to the huge and awesome gym, playground, and lunchroom. A robot and lots of cute puppies (including one in a wheeled cart) greet students at the door, robotically made-to-order lunches range from “PB & jelly to squid, lightly seared,” and the library’s books are all animated popups rather than the “everyday regular” sorts. There are no guards to be seen in the spacious hallways—hardly any adults at all, come to that—and the sparse coed student body features light- and dark-skinned figures in roughly equal numbers, a few with Asian features, and one in a wheelchair. Aside from the lack of restrooms, it seems an idyllic environment—at least for dog-loving children who prefer sports and play over quieter pursuits.

An all-day sugar rush, putting the “fun” back into, er, education. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-55291-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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An uncomplicated opener, with some funny bits and a clear but not heavy agenda.

BOOKMARKS ARE PEOPLE TOO!

From the Here's Hank series , Vol. 1

Hank Zipzer, poster boy for dyslexic middle graders everywhere, stars in a new prequel series highlighting second-grade trials and triumphs.

Hank’s hopes of playing Aqua Fly, a comic-book character, in the upcoming class play founder when, despite plenty of coaching and preparation, he freezes up during tryouts. He is not particularly comforted when his sympathetic teacher adds a nonspeaking role as a bookmark to the play just for him. Following the pattern laid down in his previous appearances as an older child, he gets plenty of help and support from understanding friends (including Ashley Wong, a new apartment-house neighbor). He even manages to turn lemons into lemonade with a quick bit of improv when Nick “the Tick” McKelty, the sneering classmate who took his preferred role, blanks on his lines during the performance. As the aforementioned bully not only chokes in the clutch and gets a demeaning nickname, but is fat, boastful and eats like a pig, the authors’ sensitivity is rather one-sided. Still, Hank has a winning way of bouncing back from adversity, and like the frequent black-and-white line-and-wash drawings, the typeface is designed with easy legibility in mind.

An uncomplicated opener, with some funny bits and a clear but not heavy agenda. (Fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: Feb. 14, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-448-48239-2

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: Dec. 11, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

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