Anyone who thinks cows are dumb and slow has never met Marta. A trendsetter who thinks for herself, she likes the quiet kind of transportation, but she likes testing her limits, too. So while her bovine friends dream of becoming train engineers, Marta sets out to build herself a bicycle. Determined, Marta finds parts in a junkyard, but when she’s done, she’s going to race her custom-made bike, and quicker than you can say Lance Armstrong, she does. Before that, however, she must learn to ride in a strikingly droll couple of pages (just think: cow on bike) that are a lesson for children learning to ride themselves. Indeed, newcomer Zullo doesn’t forget his young audience while recounting all the simple fun and then providing a twist ending. A visit to Switzerland would bring, among other souvenirs, images of mountains, cows, and brightly clad bike riders. Equally, the French Swiss author—along with illustrator Albertine, who is from Geneva—turns the legendary fondness of his countrymen for cows and bicycle riding into a cartoon-bright, happy can-do character and a story with a subtle sprinkling of a French lesson for good measure. Marta’s indomitable spirit plunging forth into new experiences is hard to resist. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2002

ISBN: 1-929132-35-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kane Miller

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2002

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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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            There are many parallel legends – the seal women, for example, with their strange sad longings – but none is more direct than this American Indian story of a girl who is carried away in a horses’ stampede…to ride thenceforth by the side of a beautiful stallion who leads the wild horses.  The girl had always loved horses, and seemed to understand them “in a special way”; a year after her disappearance her people find her riding beside the stallion, calf in tow, and take her home despite his strong resistance.  But she is unhappy and returns to the stallion; after that, a beautiful mare is seen riding always beside him.  Goble tells the story soberly, allowing it to settle, to find its own level.  The illustrations are in the familiar striking Goble style, but softened out here and there with masses of flowers and foliage – suitable perhaps for the switch in subject matter from war to love, but we miss the spanking clean design of Custer’s Last Battle and The Fetterman Fight.          6-7

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1978

ISBN: 0689845049

Page Count: -

Publisher: Bradbury

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1978

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