THE RETIRED KID

What happens when an eight-year-old boy decides being a kid is hard work and it’s time to retire? Weary of school, soccer practice, violin class, voice lessons, dog-walking, little-sister-sitting and eating his vegetables, Brian announces he’s retiring to the Happy Sunset Retirement Community in Florida. Initially, Brian thinks Happy Sunset is swell, with its swimming pool, tennis courts and snack bar. He enjoys playing cards, golfing, napping, fishing, going to ball games and watching movies with the Happy Sunset seniors. On the down side, Brian isn’t keen on TV documentaries, weekly medical check-ups, swing-dancing, prune-juice smoothies and looking at photos of grandchildren. After three weeks of serious retirement, Brian’s fed up with the geezer scene and wonders if his old job of being a kid is still available. Agee’s signature, bland cartoon-like pencil-and-watercolor illustrations contrast Brian the kid with Brian the retiree hanging out with the grey-haired set to great effect. An amusing take on the “no place like home” theme. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: June 24, 2008

ISBN: 978-1-4231-0314-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2008

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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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THE GIRL WHO LOVED WILD HORSES

            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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