THUMBELINA

Minor details and most of Andersen’s literary flourishes have been cut out of this shortened version, but the essential plot is intact. Grown from a magic seed, Thumbelina is repeatedly kidnapped for her beauty, escapes two forced-marriage attempts with the help of animal friends, and finally consents to wed the king of the flower people, because “he was the right husband for her.” Pinkney places his tall (about three inches—or triple her size in the original), graceful, cinnamon-skinned figure within close-up natural landscapes, vibrantly depicted in warm browns and golds with short, thick, curving brushstrokes. Though Thumbelina is not the most active or independent-minded of role models, she does have plenty of adventures, and the sense of self-possession that she radiates in every scene is never shaken by events. And even though her eye makeup looks like it was laid on with a trowel, the preciousness that tends to infect other renditions of the tale is less evident in this readable adaptation. (Picture book/fairy tale. 8-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2003

ISBN: 0-688-17476-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2003

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WATCH OUT FOR SHARKS!

For shark fanciers, a look at a Los Angeles Natural History Museum exhibit, Sharks: Fact and Fantasy. Now touring the country, it includes models of large and small sharks, many of them swimming in simulated undersea settings. The text follows a group of young museum-goers as they examine shark teeth, fossil sharks, sharks in art, and a living shark embryo; shark anatomy, special adaptations, types of sharks, and some shark facts are also included. Photos are clear, colorful and engaging. Not comprehensive, but an attractive added purchase. Pronunciation guide; additional reading; index. (Nonfiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 23, 1991

ISBN: 0-395-57560-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1991

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THE RED WOLF

An original “princess in a tower” tale with a startling twist. A never-revealed donor gives seven-year-old Roselupin a chest of yarn with the note: “knit what you want.” Having spent her entire life in a tall tower, thanks to an overprotective royal father, she takes thought, then knits a red wolf suit that causes her to grow hairy and huge enough to burst through the walls. After celebrating with a wild dance, she sets out to find others like her—not noticing that the costume is unraveling behind her. When the frightened king sends out searchers to discover what became of the monster, they return with the dour princess, who soon finds herself locked into an even stronger tower. Undaunted, she again takes thought, and knits her father “a rather mousy-looking pair of pajamas.” Though the scarlet behemoth bounding joyously through ankle-deep woods makes an arresting central image, readers willing to look more closely at Shannon’s shadowy, atmospheric paintings will find subtle clues in little Roselupin’s face that there’s more to her than meets the eye. Though turning her father into a mouse may seem a rather draconian way to win freedom, her tough-mindedness may give children feeling similarly smothered both amusement and vicarious relief. (Picture book. 8-10)

Pub Date: March 25, 2002

ISBN: 0-618-05544-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2002

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