Three well-known tales featuring the big bad wolf, retold in witty, rhythmic rap and cleverly linked. ``He blows at his foes till his lungs feel all tattered./The pigs feel exposed `cause their house has been scattered''—but though the wolf's ``got a plan/For house infiltratin','' he's a natty dresser who boggles at the soot in the chimney and sets out for ``Little Red's'' Grandma's in hopes of an easier meal. These two feisty contemporary females also outwit him, and Red insults him, too: though he's ``feeling sort of pretty in the old lady's lace,'' she says, ``you look foolish and ugly in Granny's nightgown.'' Swearing off little girls, the wolf has better luck with junk food—at a bakery where a foolish boy has just shouted, untruthfully, ``Fire!''—so that no one believes that a wolf is devouring his doughnuts. It's all good, nonviolent fun, much abetted by Lewin's marvelous cartoon-style illustrations. Freely drawn in broad, relaxed lines that often capture a subtle nuance in a single stroke—the set of Red's mouth, the droop of a wolf's whisker—they add a lot to the characterizations and humor. Irresistible for reading aloud. (Picture book. 4-10)

Pub Date: April 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-385-30452-8

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1993

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Visually accomplished but marred by stereotypical cultural depictions.


Ellis, known for her illustrations for Colin Meloy’s Wildwood series, here riffs on the concept of “home.”

Shifting among homes mundane and speculative, contemporary and not, Ellis begins and ends with views of her own home and a peek into her studio. She highlights palaces and mansions, but she also takes readers to animal homes and a certain famously folkloric shoe (whose iconic Old Woman manages a passel of multiethnic kids absorbed in daring games). One spread showcases “some folks” who “live on the road”; a band unloads its tour bus in front of a theater marquee. Ellis’ compelling ink and gouache paintings, in a palette of blue-grays, sepia and brick red, depict scenes ranging from mythical, underwater Atlantis to a distant moonscape. Another spread, depicting a garden and large building under connected, transparent domes, invites readers to wonder: “Who in the world lives here? / And why?” (Earth is seen as a distant blue marble.) Some of Ellis’ chosen depictions, oddly juxtaposed and stripped of any historical or cultural context due to the stylized design and spare text, become stereotypical. “Some homes are boats. / Some homes are wigwams.” A sailing ship’s crew seems poised to land near a trio of men clad in breechcloths—otherwise unidentified and unremarked upon.

Visually accomplished but marred by stereotypical cultural depictions. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 24, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6529-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2014

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As atmospheric as its companion, Twilight Comes Twice, this tone poem pairs poetically intense writing with luminescent oils featuring widely spaced houses, open lawns, and clumps of autumnal trees, all lit by a huge full moon. Fletcher tracks that moon’s nocturnal path in language rich in metaphor: “With silent slippers / it climbs the night stairs,” “staining earth and sky with a ghostly glow,” lighting up a child’s bedroom, the wings of a small plane, moonflowers, and, ranging further afield, harbor waves and the shells of turtle hatchlings on a beach. Using creamy brushwork and subtly muted colors, Kiesler depicts each landscape, each night creature from Luna moths to a sleepless child and her cat, as well as the great moon sweeping across star-flecked skies, from varied but never vertiginous angles. Closing with moonset, as dawn illuminates the world with a different kind of light, this makes peaceful reading either in season, or on any moonlit night. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 2003

ISBN: 0-618-16451-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2003

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