A riotous romp, with appealingly quirky creatures.

THE EMU THAT LAID THE GOLDEN EGG

When some Down Under desperadoes birdnap a voracious emu, they get more than they bargained for.

A flock of wild emus moves into town, eating pretty much everything in sight. Emma emu finds some kernels of corn in a creek and gobbles them up, but they give her a stomachache. She lies down to sleep, and when she awakens the next morning, she’s famished...and sitting on the shiniest and biggest egg she’s ever seen. She figures she must have laid it the night before. She goes looking for food, and two rotten possum scoundrels called Pongo Pete and Nasty Ned sneak up on the egg. Mighty hungry themselves, they first plan to eat it, but then they decide instead to kidnap Emma, figuring she can lay them a bunch of golden eggs. They take her to their hideout, where she voraciously chews whatever she can get her beak on—cushions, chandeliers, shoes and more. In a single thrashing move, she escapes! But left behind is an array of giant eggs, one of glass, another of brass, and silk and leather ones as well. Morrison’s offbeat adventure is told in vigorous verse, ably abetted by McKenzie’s illustrations, which seem to bring Emma’s feathers to ruffled life. Pete and Ned make nicely scruffy foils to Emma’s gawky greed.

A riotous romp, with appealingly quirky creatures. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-921894-00-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little Hare/Trafalgar

Review Posted Online: April 3, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2013

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A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift.

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BECAUSE I HAD A TEACHER

A paean to teachers and their surrogates everywhere.

This gentle ode to a teacher’s skill at inspiring, encouraging, and being a role model is spoken, presumably, from a child’s viewpoint. However, the voice could equally be that of an adult, because who can’t look back upon teachers or other early mentors who gave of themselves and offered their pupils so much? Indeed, some of the self-aware, self-assured expressions herein seem perhaps more realistic as uttered from one who’s already grown. Alternatively, readers won’t fail to note that this small book, illustrated with gentle soy-ink drawings and featuring an adult-child bear duo engaged in various sedentary and lively pursuits, could just as easily be about human parent- (or grandparent-) child pairs: some of the softly colored illustrations depict scenarios that are more likely to occur within a home and/or other family-oriented setting. Makes sense: aren’t parents and other close family members children’s first teachers? This duality suggests that the book might be best shared one-on-one between a nostalgic adult and a child who’s developed some self-confidence, having learned a thing or two from a parent, grandparent, older relative, or classroom instructor.

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943200-08-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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A culturally intricate slice of a lupine courier’s life.

¡VAMOS! LET'S GO TO THE MARKET

From the ¡Vamos! series

Little Lobo and his dog, Bernabé, journey through a Mexican mercado delivering diverse goods to a variety of booths.

With the aid of red words splattered throughout the spreads as labels, Raúl the Third gives an introduction to Spanish vocabulary as Little Lobo, an anthropomorphic wolf, leaves his house, fills his cart with objects from his warehouse, and delivers them to the market’s vendors. The journey also serves as a crash course in Mexican culture, as the images are packed with intertextual details such as food, traditional games, and characters, including Cantinflas, Frida Khalo, and Juan Gabriel. Readers acquainted with Raúl the Third’s characters from his Lowriders series with author Cathy Camper will appreciate cameos from familiar characters. As he makes his rounds, Little Lobo also collects different artifacts that people offer in exchange for his deliveries of shoe polish, clothespins, wood, tissue paper, paintbrushes, and a pair of golden laces. Although Raúl the Third departs from the ball-pen illustrations that he is known for, his depiction of creatures and critters peppering the borderland where his stories are set remains in his trademark style. The softer hues in the illustrations (chosen by colorist Bay) keep the busy compositions friendly, and the halftone patterns filling the illustrations create foregrounds and backgrounds reminiscent of Roy Lichtenstein’s pointillism.

A culturally intricate slice of a lupine courier’s life. (glossary) (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-55726-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Versify/HMH

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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