Hudson claims, “Everything has a story.” And through his personal descriptions and musings over each artifact, he knows how...

HOMER HENRY HUDSON'S CURIO MUSEUM

In Rock’s debut picture book, an eccentric bulldog named Homer Henry Hudson collects “bits and bobs” from around the globe, displaying them floor to ceiling in his museum of curios.

Hudson takes great pride in his collection of riches, masterfully illustrated by Rock. These days, sidelined by an injury, this alliterative pooch keeps his museum “spick-and-span” and treats himself nightly to sushi dinner. He introduces museumgoers to his favorite exhibits, such as the Nóttlandian Stuffed Animal (a teddy bear), given as a token of gratitude from a young girl. Or his Humble Willow Root Cane, a twisted stick that mirrors his anguish at not being able to travel. But it’s his affection for the Manneken Mort of King Ingmar, a figurine wound with bands of the king’s life stories, that gets this bulldog wondering. Are his bands complete, or are there more? Rock’s illustrations are rendered in a subdued palette of watercolors, rich in earth tones and infused with touches of humble elegance. Young explorers will pore over the endpaper, title page and two-page spreads of museum space, drinking in each detailed treasure. Hudson’s droopy, liver-spotted mug is so realistic readers will want to scratch him behind the ears.

Hudson claims, “Everything has a story.” And through his personal descriptions and musings over each artifact, he knows how to tell a good one. (Picture book. 8-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 19, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-56846-260-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Creative Editions/Creative Company

Review Posted Online: June 10, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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Rich, naturalistic details will delight lovers of marine life.

ODDER

A Monterey Bay sea otter comes of age.

Odder’s mom told her to stay away from sharks, humans, and anything else she didn’t understand, but after saving her friend Kairi from a shark attack, she encounters all three. Injured herself during the rescue, Odder ends up recuperating at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, or Highwater as the otters call it, where she once lived as a young orphaned pup. Last time, the humans helped her reintegrate into the wild, but because of her injuries this time the outcome might be different. Soon Kairi is there too, stricken with “the shaking sickness” and having lost her newborn pup. Now Kairi is fostering a new pup, and soon one is introduced to an initially reluctant Odder in hopes that she will help raise it so it can return to the wild. The free verse effortlessly weaves in scientific information, giving Odder a voice without overly anthropomorphizing any of the animals. The natural appeal of sea otters will draw readers in, but the book doesn’t shy away from real-world threats such as predators, disease, and pollution. Loosely based on the stories of real sea otters rehabilitated at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, this novel will give readers lots to talk about, but uneven pacing and a rushed ending may leave some unsatisfied. Charming black-and-white spot art captures the world and life of the sea.

Rich, naturalistic details will delight lovers of marine life. (glossary, author’s note, bibliography, resources) (Verse novel. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 20, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-250-14742-4

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2022

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The three way chats, in which they are joined by other animals, about web spinning, themselves, other humans—are as often...

CHARLOTTE'S WEB

A successful juvenile by the beloved New Yorker writer portrays a farm episode with an imaginative twist that makes a poignant, humorous story of a pig, a spider and a little girl.

Young Fern Arable pleads for the life of runt piglet Wilbur and gets her father to sell him to a neighbor, Mr. Zuckerman. Daily, Fern visits the Zuckermans to sit and muse with Wilbur and with the clever pen spider Charlotte, who befriends him when he is lonely and downcast. At the news of Wilbur's forthcoming slaughter, campaigning Charlotte, to the astonishment of people for miles around, spins words in her web. "Some Pig" comes first. Then "Terrific"—then "Radiant". The last word, when Wilbur is about to win a show prize and Charlotte is about to die from building her egg sac, is "Humble". And as the wonderful Charlotte does die, the sadness is tempered by the promise of more spiders next spring.

The three way chats, in which they are joined by other animals, about web spinning, themselves, other humans—are as often informative as amusing, and the whole tenor of appealing wit and pathos will make fine entertainment for reading aloud, too.

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 1952

ISBN: 978-0-06-026385-0

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1952

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