A sweet, simple story of inclusion for kids who celebrate Christmas.

CHRISTMAS WITH SNOWMAN PAUL

A snowman’s friends help him enjoy Christmas indoors in this picture book.

This latest entry in Lapid’s and Pasek’s (Halloween with Snowman Paul, 2017, etc.) snowman series is set during Christmas, which might seem like a natural fit. But the carrot-nosed Snowman Paul doesn’t see it that way. For him, Christmas is a time when everyone congregates indoors, enjoying warmth, food, and company—everyone but Paul. “If that’s called friendship, I don’t know, / Perhaps I’d rather be plain snow...!” he concludes. Hearing this, a boy—Paul’s friend and the book’s narrator—rallies his family, including the dog and cat, to come up with a solution. By drawing the fridge to the Christmas table and sitting inside, Paul can feast and join in playing games, even by the fireside. Afterward, Paul gets a special present from Santa. As with other outings in this series, Lapid writes generally effective rhyming couplets that scan well. Although the book takes for granted an audience that embraces Christmas, the atmosphere is warm, accepting, and friendly. (The family is white; the narrator has one black friend.) Rather than asking the snowman to adjust or just be left out, the family adapts to him, taking into account Paul’s special needs—a good and subtle lesson for kids. Pasek emphasizes the tale’s kindness with soft watercolor washes, and makes Paul a real character with an expressive face; his twig hair, for example, matches his mood, lying flat when he’s down.

A sweet, simple story of inclusion for kids who celebrate Christmas.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-9993361-0-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2017

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THE GIRL WHO LOVED WILD HORSES

            There are many parallel legends – the seal women, for example, with their strange sad longings – but none is more direct than this American Indian story of a girl who is carried away in a horses’ stampede…to ride thenceforth by the side of a beautiful stallion who leads the wild horses.  The girl had always loved horses, and seemed to understand them “in a special way”; a year after her disappearance her people find her riding beside the stallion, calf in tow, and take her home despite his strong resistance.  But she is unhappy and returns to the stallion; after that, a beautiful mare is seen riding always beside him.  Goble tells the story soberly, allowing it to settle, to find its own level.  The illustrations are in the familiar striking Goble style, but softened out here and there with masses of flowers and foliage – suitable perhaps for the switch in subject matter from war to love, but we miss the spanking clean design of Custer’s Last Battle and The Fetterman Fight.          6-7

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1978

ISBN: 0689845049

Page Count: -

Publisher: Bradbury

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1978

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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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