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Maggie is spending her holiday with her parents and her stuffed tiger at the sea, but her parents' idea of a good time is relaxing for hours in the sun, and her tiger is not really made for water sports. Maggie is left to her own devices. For a while she occupies herself making sand castles and collecting shells, but she is lonely. Then one day Maggie finds Mia the cat, who becomes her summer playmate. Every morning, without fail, she is there on the beach when Maggie arrives. But one day Mia is nowhere to be found. Maggie frantically searches for her friend, and it occurs to her that Mia must be near the fishing boats. Sure enough Mia has stowed away on one of the boats and is now returning to the dock on its prow. Mia sees Maggie and excitedly jumps towards her. She lands in the water, but they fish her out. On Maggie's last day of vacation, she smuggles Mia into her parents' car. Maggie's mother asks innocently about the cat as Maggie and her father share a secret wink and Mia purrs her contentment. An appealing story for young animal lovers from HÑnel (Lila's Little Dinosaur, p. 1530). (Fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 1994

ISBN: 1-55858-314-9

Page Count: 48

Publisher: NorthSouth

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 1994

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Having put together a band with renowned cousin Duck Ellington and singer “Bee” Holiday, Rooster’s chances sure look...

Winning actually isn’t everything, as jazz-happy Rooster learns when he goes up against the legendary likes of Mules Davis and Ella Finchgerald at the barnyard talent show.

Having put together a band with renowned cousin Duck Ellington and singer “Bee” Holiday, Rooster’s chances sure look good—particularly after his “ ‘Hen from Ipanema’ [makes] / the barnyard chickies swoon.”—but in the end the competition is just too stiff. No matter: A compliment from cool Mules and the conviction that he still has the world’s best band soon puts the strut back in his stride. Alexander’s versifying isn’t always in tune (“So, he went to see his cousin, / a pianist of great fame…”), and despite his moniker Rooster plays an electric bass in Bower’s canted country scenes. Children are unlikely to get most of the jokes liberally sprinkled through the text, of course, so the adults sharing it with them should be ready to consult the backmatter, which consists of closing notes on jazz’s instruments, history and best-known musicians.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-58536-688-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press

Review Posted Online: July 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2011

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Bishop’s spectacular photographs of the tiny red-eyed tree frog defeat an incidental text from Cowley (Singing Down the Rain, 1997, etc.). The frog, only two inches long, is enormous in this title; it appears along with other nocturnal residents of the rain forests of Central America, including the iguana, ant, katydid, caterpillar, and moth. In a final section, Cowley explains how small the frog is and aspects of its life cycle. The main text, however, is an afterthought to dramatic events in the photos, e.g., “But the red-eyed tree frog has been asleep all day. It wakes up hungry. What will it eat? Here is an iguana. Frogs do not eat iguanas.” Accompanying an astonishing photograph of the tree frog leaping away from a boa snake are three lines (“The snake flicks its tongue. It tastes frog in the air. Look out, frog!”) that neither advance nor complement the action. The layout employs pale and deep green pages and typeface, and large jewel-like photographs in which green and red dominate. The combination of such visually sophisticated pages and simplistic captions make this a top-heavy, unsatisfying title. (Picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: March 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-590-87175-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1999

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