FOR SURE! FOR SURE!

The hens who overhear a chicken’s innocent remark about losing a feather—and then pass the information on from one bird to another—do not recognize their own tale as, in true “telephone” fashion, it evolves into a story about how five lovesick hens killed themselves by plucking out all of their feathers and then pecking each other. “Spread the news!” Sadly, this retelling of Andersen’s “There Is No Doubt About It” falls far short of Janet Stevens’s touchstone but out-of-print version: It’s Perfectly True (1988). The clichés and asides used throughout the retelling are distracting, taking away from, rather than adding to the progression. Large font emphasizes some of the dialogue, but the placement and design of the layout seem disjointed and forced. Czernecki’s bold and vividly colored graphics are definitely attention-grabbing, but not enough so to redeem the retelling. (Picture book/folktale. 4-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-87483-742-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: August House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2004

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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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HELLO, HARVEST MOON

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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