FATHER'S RUBBER SHOES

The ache of homesickness is shot through Heo's story of the travails that wait upon the emigrant's experience. Yungsu has just moved to America from Korea. The neighborhood is new, he hasn't any friends, and his father works the long hours of a grocer. Yungsu wants to go hometo Korea. Late one night his father comes to see him in bed. He tells Yungsu the story of a pair of rubber shoesconsidered the best shoes to ownYungsu's grandmother bought his father when he was young. He wanted to keep those shoes forever. ``I want to give you something,'' the father says, ``like my rubber shoes, but something you can have all the time. That's why we're here. I hope you understand.'' It's a quietly epiphanal moment for Yungsu, and his life takes a modest turn for the better. This story has an unpretentious grace about it: The pain is there but so is the peaceful, hopeful presence of Yungsu's mother and father. Heo's illustrations are elegantly, fiercely two- dimensionalprimitive, colorful, with all sorts of odd, surprising perspectives and colors: pumpkin orange, grape, olive green, khaki, dusty rose, and maroon on mustard backgrounds. Hope and promise join with longing in a heartfelt book. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-531-06873-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Orchard

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1995

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SKELETON HICCUPS

Who hasn’t shared the aggravation of a whole day’s worth of bone-rattling hiccups? Poor Skeleton wakes up with a deadly case that he can’t shake, and it’s up to his friend Ghost to think of something to scare them away. Cuyler (Stop, Drop, and Roll, 2001, etc.) cleverly brings readers through the ups and downs of Skeleton’s day, from shower to ball-playing. Home folk remedies (holding his breath, eating sugar) don’t seem to work, but Ghost applies a new perspective startling enough to unhinge listeners and Skeleton alike. While the concept is clever, it’s Schindler’s (How Santa Lost His Job, 2001, etc.) paintings, done with gouache, ink, and watercolor, that carry the day, showing Skeleton’s own unique problems—water pours out of his hollow eyes when he drinks it upside down, his teeth spin out of his head when he brushes them—that make a joke of the circumstances. Oversized spreads open the scene to read-aloud audiences, but hold intimate details for sharp eyes—monster slippers, sugar streaming through the hollow body. For all the hiccupping, this outing has a quiet feel not up to the standards of some of Cuyler’s earlier books, but the right audience will enjoy its fun. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2002

ISBN: 0-689-84770-X

Page Count: 32

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2002

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THE LION & THE MOUSE

A nearly wordless exploration of Aesop’s fable of symbiotic mercy that is nothing short of masterful.

A mouse, narrowly escaping an owl at dawn, skitters up what prove to be a male lion’s tail and back. Lion releases Mouse in a moment of bemused gentility and—when subsequently ensnared in a poacher’s rope trap—reaps the benefit thereof. Pinkney successfully blends anthropomorphism and realism, depicting Lion’s massive paws and Mouse’s pink inner ears along with expressions encompassing the quizzical, hapless and nearly smiling. He plays, too, with perspective, alternating foreground views of Mouse amid tall grasses with layered panoramas of the Serengeti plain and its multitudinous wildlife. Mouse, befitting her courage, is often depicted heroically large relative to Lion. Spreads in watercolor and pencil employ a palette of glowing amber, mouse-brown and blue-green. Artist-rendered display type ranges from a protracted “RRROAARRRRRRRRR” to nine petite squeaks from as many mouselings. If the five cubs in the back endpapers are a surprise, the mouse family of ten, perched on the ridge of father lion’s back, is sheer delight.

Unimpeachable. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-316-01356-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2009

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