Anyone who's ever driven across town for the perfect taco will understand the allure of the world's most entertaining...

THE RUNAWAY TORTILLA

Perfection can be dangerous, as restaurateurs Tía Lupe and Tío José discover when one of their delicious tortillas comes to life and runs away.

The handmade tortillas, "light as a cloud and as soft as the fuzz on a baby's cheek," are so gravity-defying that one takes off, pursued at first by the couple, and then by a parade of conejos (rabbits), sapos cornudos (lizards), vaqueros (cowboys), and other locals. The story should sound familiar; it's a Spanish-sprinkled update of “The Gingerbread Man.” This tortilla tale is a revamp of Kimmel’s out-of-print 2000 book of the same name, illustrated by Randy Cecil, featuring winning new art and more Spanish but with that unsparing original ending. (Let's just say things do not end well when the troublemaking tortilla encounters a fox.) The text is energetic, and the baked-in Spanish avoids feeling dumbed down; it's placed so well in context that non–Spanish-speaking readers won't feel lost. The illustrations evocatively convey the cacti, sand-beached rubble, and reptilian fauna of the Southwest as well as the crispy-masa body of the tortilla herself. Her singsong-y taunt is catchy: "Run as fast as fast can be. / You won't get a bite of me. / Doesn't matter what you do. / I'll be far ahead of you!"

Anyone who's ever driven across town for the perfect taco will understand the allure of the world's most entertaining tortilla. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-941821-69-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: WestWinds Press

Review Posted Online: June 10, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • New York Times Bestseller

BECAUSE I HAD A TEACHER

A paean to teachers and their surrogates everywhere.

This gentle ode to a teacher’s skill at inspiring, encouraging, and being a role model is spoken, presumably, from a child’s viewpoint. However, the voice could equally be that of an adult, because who can’t look back upon teachers or other early mentors who gave of themselves and offered their pupils so much? Indeed, some of the self-aware, self-assured expressions herein seem perhaps more realistic as uttered from one who’s already grown. Alternatively, readers won’t fail to note that this small book, illustrated with gentle soy-ink drawings and featuring an adult-child bear duo engaged in various sedentary and lively pursuits, could just as easily be about human parent- (or grandparent-) child pairs: some of the softly colored illustrations depict scenarios that are more likely to occur within a home and/or other family-oriented setting. Makes sense: aren’t parents and other close family members children’s first teachers? This duality suggests that the book might be best shared one-on-one between a nostalgic adult and a child who’s developed some self-confidence, having learned a thing or two from a parent, grandparent, older relative, or classroom instructor.

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943200-08-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Visually accomplished but marred by stereotypical cultural depictions.

HOME

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more