This exploration of ancient mythical creatures as potential pets satisfies with its double twist ending.

MISS TURIE'S MAGIC CREATURES

Miss Turie attempts to lure a boy into purchasing a magical pet.

Miss Turie guarantees that she always finds a match for potential owners of her magical creatures. The beguiling pet shop boasts an assortment of mythological animals: a unicorn, a dragon, griffons, a kraken, a golem, a chimera, and more. After introducing this range of colorful potential pets to a child who rejects each one, Miss Turie seems out of options and at her wits’ end—and her customer shares her frustration. Nothing shocks Miss Turie more than when the brown boy with dark brown curly hair points to a sleeping creature. “It won’t fetch or give you hugs or greet you at your welcome mat. Its claws and fangs are dagger sharp!” she warns. The boy’s mythical creature of choice is a friendly and adorable, seemingly ordinary gray tabby cat. Before Miss Turie can mention a last caveat, the boy has happily purchased his new friend—which leaves a trail of rainbows, sparkles, and stars behind them. Backmatter provides an illustrated glossary of enchanted beasts and their countries of origin, with the last page prominently dedicated to the cat. The cartoon artwork is colorful and blithe, with the fabled beings possessing as much personality as the eccentric, brown-skinned, big-hair-don’t-care Miss Turie.

This exploration of ancient mythical creatures as potential pets satisfies with its double twist ending. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-943147-41-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: The Innovation Press

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2018

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A wandering effort, happy but pointless.

DRAGONS LOVE TACOS

From the Dragons Love Tacos series

The perfect book for kids who love dragons and mild tacos.

Rubin’s story starts with an incantatory edge: “Hey, kid! Did you know that dragons love tacos? They love beef tacos and chicken tacos. They love really big gigantic tacos and tiny little baby tacos as well.” The playing field is set: dragons, tacos. As a pairing, they are fairly silly, and when the kicker comes in—that dragons hate spicy salsa, which ignites their inner fireworks—the silliness is sillier still. Second nature, after all, is for dragons to blow flames out their noses. So when the kid throws a taco party for the dragons, it seems a weak device that the clearly labeled “totally mild” salsa comes with spicy jalapenos in the fine print, prompting the dragons to burn down the house, resulting in a barn-raising at which more tacos are served. Harmless, but if there is a parable hidden in the dragon-taco tale, it is hidden in the unlit deep, and as a measure of lunacy, bridled or unbridled, it doesn’t make the leap into the outer reaches of imagination. Salmieri’s artwork is fitting, with a crabbed, ethereal line work reminiscent of Peter Sís, but the story does not offer it enough range.

A wandering effort, happy but pointless. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 14, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8037-3680-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: March 28, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2012

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A delicious triumph over fear of night creatures.

PIPPA'S NIGHT PARADE

Pippa conquers a fear of the creatures that emerge from her storybooks at night.

Pippa’s “wonderfully wild imagination” can sometimes run “a little TOO wild.” During the day, she wears her “armor” and is a force to be reckoned with. But in bed at night, Pippa worries about “villains and monsters and beasts.” Sharp-toothed and -taloned shadows, dragons, and pirates emerge from her storybooks like genies from a bottle, just to scare her. Pippa flees to her parents’ room only to be brought back time and again. Finally, Pippa decides that she “needs a plan” to “get rid of them once and for all.” She decides to slip a written invitation into every book, and that night, they all come out. She tries subduing them with a lasso, an eye patch, and a sombrero, but she is defeated. Next, she tries “sashes and sequins and bows,” throwing the fashion pieces on the monsters, who…“begin to pose and primp and preen.” After that success, their fashion show becomes a nightly ritual. Clever Pippa’s transformation from scared victim of her own imagination to leader of the monster pack feels fairly sudden, but it’s satisfying nonetheless. The cartoony illustrations effectively use dynamic strokes, shadow, and light to capture action on the page and the feeling of Pippa's fears taking over her real space. Pippa and her parents are brown-skinned with curls of various textures.

A delicious triumph over fear of night creatures. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5420-9300-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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