THUMBELINA

Pint-sized Thumbelina faces danger and despair as she searches for true love. She grows from a bud, “no bigger than your thumb,” after her mother pleads with the witch for a child. When she is kidnapped to be married to the ugly Toadikins, Thumbelina’s weeping brings a multitude of characters to her aid. She then nurses a swallow to health, and he helps her avoid marriage to the dismal mole, the Man in Grey. Thin lines and dynamic colors portray the wispy and fair Thumbelina. Ibatoulline deftly balances darkness and light to convey Thumbelina’s quest for happiness, her expressive eyes giving her emotional depth. Emphasizing perspective, rich acryl gouache–and-watercolor spreads illustrate both vast outdoor scenes and intimate abodes. Alderson’s conversational tone brings warmth to the tale, and lively dialogue develops the characters. “Now don’t be obstropolous,” says Mrs. Mouse. “Otherwise I shall bite you with my little white teeth.” A cozily satisfying rendition of the classic. (Picture book/fairy tale. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-7636-2079-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2009

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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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