When she finds a clarinet in her basement, Aunt Margaret goes wild and decides to ``study the sounds of life'' (``Holy Faloozala! This is a blast'') playing along with animals and trains. But while she is jamming along with a hurricane named Gladys, her instrument is blown away. Everybody helps to look for it, but it is gone. Finally, Aunt Margaret's niece and sidekick, who is also the narrator, takes her to a music store to get a harmonica; it will do, until the next hurricane brings back the clarinet. Bottner (Bootsie Barker Bites, 1992, etc.) makes her playful, syncopated text tongue-in-cheek from start to finish. Yalowitz's pictures, looking as if they were constructed from pale, multicolored sandpaper, depict carefully dressed people with long faces, dots for eyes, and skinny limbs, who seem to be barely held down by gravity. Full of decorative little objects and comic touches (on a couple of occasions, the text begins to break up and fly away), the book's frenetic humor is as likely to appeal to adults as children. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 19, 1995

ISBN: 0-399-22544-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1995

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet


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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet


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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet