SKY BLUE ACCIDENT/ACCIDENTE CELESTE

In Luján’s free verse poem, a boy on his way to school collides with the sky and breaks it. When he shows broken pieces to his teacher, she flies off into the now-white sky. The schoolchildren paint a new blue sky, finished off by the narrator’s final pieces of the original. The story is quite short, about 16 lines in the original Spanish, but evocative in its surrealistic dream world. Grobler’s illustrations flesh out and expand upon the text, creating both the cityscape through which the boy rides to school and an important character not mentioned in the text, a sort of totem-bird that seems to preside over the fantastic events, distracting the boy into his accident and accompanying the teacher on her flight. His style shares the deliberate naïveté of David Shannon and the retro simplicity of Maira Kalman and many French and Spanish artists. While not essential, this is a vibrantly presented and provocative exploration of the imagination. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 2007

ISBN: 0-88899-805-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Groundwood

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2007

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A DOG NAMED SAM

A book that will make young dog-owners smile in recognition and confirm dogless readers' worst suspicions about the mayhem caused by pets, even winsome ones. Sam, who bears passing resemblance to an affable golden retriever, is praised for fetching the family newspaper, and goes on to fetch every other newspaper on the block. In the next story, only the children love Sam's swimming; he is yelled at by lifeguards and fishermen alike when he splashes through every watering hole he can find. Finally, there is woe to the entire family when Sam is bored and lonely for one long night. Boland has an essential message, captured in both both story and illustrations of this Easy-to-Read: Kids and dogs belong together, especially when it's a fun-loving canine like Sam. An appealing tale. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-8037-1530-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1996

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TO MARKET, TO MARKET

A marketing trip from Miranda (Glad Monster, Sad Monster, p. 1309) that jiggity jigs off in time-honored nursery-rhyme fashion, but almost immediately derails into well-charted chaos. The foodstuffs—the fat pig, the red hen, the plump goose, the pea pods, peppers, garlic, and spice—are wholly reasonable in light of the author's mention of shopping at traditional Spanish mercados, which stock live animals and vegetables. Stevens transfers the action to a standard American supermarket and a standard American kitchen, bringing hilarity to scenes that combine acrylics, oil pastels, and colored pencil with photo and fabric collage elements. The result is increasing frazzlement for the shopper, an older woman wearing spectacles, hat, and purple pumps (one of which is consumed by her groceries). It's back to market one last time for ingredients for the hot vegetable soup she prepares for the whole bunch. True, her kitchen's trashed and she probably won't find a welcome mat at her supermarket hereafter, but all's well that ends well—at least while the soup's on. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-15-200035-6

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1997

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