A fine, comfortable storyteller’s voice meets up with sly and elegant illustrations in this tale from the Brothers Grimm. A baby boy who is “nobody special” is born with a crown-shaped birthmark, so the local fortune-teller predicts he will marry a princess. The king, father of a newborn daughter, bribes the parents to surrender their son, on the pretext that he will raise the boy. Instead, he puts him in a box and drops the box in a river. The baby is rescued and named Marco, and grows up tall and sweet and confident. Re-discovered by the king, he is saved by mischievous bandits, marries the princess, then is sent off by his new father-in-law mid-celebration to get three golden hairs off the devil’s head. Now the story gets interesting, as Marco rides off to Hell, meets the devil’s grandmother, and brings back the three hairs—the “ouch!” of the title—while also doing away with the king and relieving a bored ferryman of his duties. The illustrations are rich in Renaissance pattern in architecture and clothing, chivied by Marcellino’s round-headed, puckish figures. Street, forest, and water vistas share the rosy golden light of fairy tale; the whole is quite satisfying. (Picture book/folklore. 4-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 30, 1998

ISBN: 0-06-205066-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1998

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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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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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