WHEN GRAMPA KISSED HIS ELBOW

A gifted storyteller (The Dancing Skeleton, 1989) presents a familiar theme—a happy relationship between grandparent and child—with unusual insight and sensitivity. The title telegraphs the humor in Grandpa's stories, which begin ``When I was a little girl.'' (That was before he kissed his elbow.) While cutting Maggie's hair, he tells her about a pixie under the porch who often makes ``something magic'' happen. Maggie isn't sure whether to believe this, but her offerings of cookies and other small treats do disappear, and something special often does happen when she's with Grandpa: he teaches her to tickle trout; a hailstorm leaves enough ice to make a summer snowball; best of all, a wren makes a nest of the clippings from her hair; and after the nestlings fly away, Maggie takes the nest home. Swanson's misty color-pencil illustrations nicely reflect the story's quiet mood and Maggie's sense of wonder at the ``magical'' occurrences she and Grandpa share. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 31, 1992

ISBN: 0-02-726455-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1992

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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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TO MARKET, TO MARKET

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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