NO SUCH THING

Any child who has been convinced of the presence of a monster at bedtime will feel vindicated by this satisfying story from Koller (A Place to Call Home, 1995, etc.). During his first night in his new home, Howard is fearful of a monster he thinks is under the bed. His mother assures him there is none, and leaves. Meanwhile, under the bed, Monster's mother is reassuring him that there are no such things as boys, one of whom he is certain is on top of his bed. She tucks him in and leaves. After several similar confrontations, the exasperated mothers have had it, so the boy and the monster must deal with each other directly. Conquering their fears, each has a moment of hysterical laughter over the idea that he might eat the other. Then they hatch a terrific plan, trading places on the bed and calling upon their mothers one last time. Readers are left to guess how the mothers will react. The versatile Lewin works in flowing watercolors, a loose style that makes the overlap between the boy's and monster's worlds completely acceptable and intensifies the story's humor. This tautly told story in which two stern mothers get their comeuppances is irresistible. (Junior Library Guild selection) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 1997

ISBN: 1-56397-490-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1997

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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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