PLB 0-7358-1052-4 Cinderella (32 pp.; $15.95, PLB $15.88; Apr.; 0-7358-1051-6, PLB 0-7358-1052-4): Perrault’s ancient tale of Cinderella has been slimmed and toned down considerably, with her virtues less evident and the supporting cast less effective. Readers will wonder why Cinderella’s father, who is not conveniently dead in this story, doesn’t rally to her aid, but they will be otherwise enchanted by Koopmans’s delicate illustrations. One good French touch comes at dinner; the prince is so besotted that “even when the most delicious dishes were served for supper, he could not eat a morsel.” (Picture book/folklore. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-7358-1051-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: NorthSouth

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1999

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Organizing according to the Jewish calendar, Kimmelman describes Jewish religious holidays, Israeli national holidays, and the observance of the Sabbath. Each holiday identified includes its name in English and Hebrew, a brief description of its meaning, and a recipe, an activity, or a bible story related to it. The brevity of some of the explanations omits some essential information. Rosh Hashanah is the first holiday in the Jewish New Year, but Kimmelman neglects to define the Jewish year. The section on Sukkot mentions, “we shake the lulav” in a description of holiday activities, but there is no clear definition in words or illustration of the lulav. In describing matzah, Kimmelman does not make the connection about why the Israelites could not wait for bread to rise and prepared matzah instead. Illustrations sometimes do not adequately illustrate the text. A person unfamiliar with a sukkah, the hut constructed for eating meals during the holiday of Sukkot, could not tell what it looks like from Eitan’s sketchy drawing. An illustration of Moses in a basket has no reference in the text to the Passover holiday. The introduction indicates that some of the holidays are recent in origin but the text makes no clear distinction between religious holidays and historically significant modern commemorations such as Yom Hashoah, the remembrance of the Holocaust and Yom Ha-atzma’ut, Israel’s Independence Day. Written primarily for those who are already familiar with the celebrations, this title will not serve the informational needs of the general reader. (Nonfiction. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 31, 2000

ISBN: 0-06-027725-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2000

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An Appalachian folktale is the basis of Johnson’s story of a fried-chicken-loving preacher whose untimely demise sets into motion an tumultuous chain of events as members of his flock frantically try to absolve themselves of the non-existent crime of murder. Old Dry Frye is so well known for his capacious appetite for fried chicken that when he chokes on a bone, his hosts, a distraught farmer and his wife, are convinced that everyone will suspect them of murder. To escape condemnation, they quickly hide the body in the widow’s chicken coop; she, fearing the preacher is a poacher, bops him on the head with her frying pan. Believing she accidentally killed Frye, she quickly gets “shed of” him. And so begins the wild journey for the hapless corpse as one villager after another stumbles upon him and assumes guilt for the cause of death. Johnson’s over-the-top, humorous portrayal of the citizens’ frenzied actions and reactions rescue the tale from excessive morbidity. Although the text does not refer to it, the illustrations show Frye coughing up his chicken bone during the chaotic and hilarious denouement. Told in the melodious twang of mountain vernacular, Johnson’s story rumbles along to its own beat, an outrageously ghoulish tale to make story-hour listeners shiver. (Picture book/folklore. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-590-37658-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1999

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