QUENTIN FENTON HERTER III

MacDonald’s (No More Nasty, 2001, etc.) dazzling verse, clever as Scheherazade, is a beautiful choreography of words. Here we have Quentin Fenton Herter Third—wonderfully staid in Potter’s (Shrinking Violet, 2001, etc.) dotty artwork, all puckered puss, spray of freckles, and enough pomade to lube a Bentley—a boy righteous and well-mannered. “He always did what he should ought / and never did what he should not.” But QFH Third has a significant other, his shadow: Quentin Fenton Herter Three, a rude boy who never knew a glass that couldn’t be spilled or an aunt who couldn’t be appalled. “And—sad but true—he never flossed!” Both boys share a longing: to be a little bit like the other, just a splash. Which they get a chance to do when QFH Third commits an unfettered sneeze that fairly blows his aunts from the tea table; he gets his walking papers and QFH Three gets a chance to strut his politesse. It’s all very merry, with the illustrations providing an unending source of enjoyment while the verse positively scoots along: “The scene was like an atom blast. / The ladies stood (like you) aghast / amid remains of their repast.” Not to mention the laughter that readers will shower down upon them. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 5, 2002

ISBN: 0-374-36170-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Melanie Kroupa/Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2002

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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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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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