SYCAMORE STREET

Best friends Angel and Chloe, who enjoy ``pretending'' together, have no time for new boy Rupert, who makes a pest of himself until Chloe discovers (while Angel's on vacation) that he's a good pretender, too. The inclusion/exclusion issue looms large for the target audience, but its exploration here isn't always credible—Rupert's still hanging around after being rebuffed for months, and, oddly, the girls never confront him when they suspect him of swiping their mittens. Still, humorous and nonpreachy, with short paragraphs, plenty of repetition for newly independent readers, and likable watercolor illustrations: unusually attractive for this genre. (Young reader. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 30, 1993

ISBN: 0-689-31784-0

Page Count: 42

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1993

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NOT A BOX

Dedicated “to children everywhere sitting in cardboard boxes,” this elemental debut depicts a bunny with big, looping ears demonstrating to a rather thick, unseen questioner (“Are you still standing around in that box?”) that what might look like an ordinary carton is actually a race car, a mountain, a burning building, a spaceship or anything else the imagination might dream up. Portis pairs each question and increasingly emphatic response with a playscape of Crockett Johnson–style simplicity, digitally drawn with single red and black lines against generally pale color fields. Appropriately bound in brown paper, this makes its profound point more directly than such like-themed tales as Marisabina Russo’s Big Brown Box (2000) or Dana Kessimakis Smith’s Brave Spaceboy (2005). (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-06-112322-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2006

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MY TEACHER FOR PRESIDENT

Come November, lots of people would cast their vote for Oliver’s teacher—just the kind of secure, commanding, compassionate presence it would be good to see in the White House. Arranged by Brunkus in warmly agreeable two-page spreads—the left side depicting the teacher tending to her responsibilities at school, the right side showing her attending to the same qualities as chief executive—Oliver tells us of her fondness for white houses, that she likes to be followed about, likes to travel, knows how to keep the attention of her charges, doesn’t mind any number of meetings, and signs important documents. Then Winters ups the ante: this gray-haired, bespeckled wise soul also knows first-hand how to react to emergencies, handle health-care issues, is interested in finding people jobs, keeping the Earth clean, and knows—here’s the kicker—how to listen. It all starts so early, these fundamentals of a sensitive existence, and Winters makes the parallels simple to digest. Here’s a third-party candidate to get behind. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-525-47186-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2004

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