A girl with a fear of rats overcomes that aversion in this fast-paced classroom story, where the personalities of the students and a funny, alert teacher take center stage. Rosemary is horrified when a rat becomes the class pet. She can’t help herself, though, when the students are deciding on a name; she shouts “Cheese” and the name is adopted. When it’s her turn to take care of Cheese, Rosemary grows fond of the pet. So fond, in fact, that she steals it rather than let her awful classmate Brian take it home. After several misadventures trying to hide it at home, she gets it back into the cage, confesses to Mr. Wilder, and gives Brian a quick lecture on how to care for Cheese properly. Cox’s glowing description of Rosemary’s introduction to Cheese is believable; the author, who includes rat care tips at the end, obviously has great fondness for rats, and conveys those feelings without being cloying. The class, the teacher, even Brian are all casually realistic, and the story will surely have young readers clamoring for rats of their own. (b&w illustrations, not seen) (Fiction. 6-10)

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 1998

ISBN: 0-8234-1379-9

Page Count: 93

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 1998

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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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At ``Step 2'' in the useful ``Step into Reading'' series: an admirably clear, well-balanced presentation that centers on wolves' habits and pack structure. Milton also addresses their endangered status, as well as their place in fantasy, folklore, and the popular imagination. Attractive realistic watercolors on almost every page. Top-notch: concise, but remarkably extensive in its coverage. A real bargain. (Nonfiction/Easy reader. 6-10)

Pub Date: April 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-679-91052-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1992

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