Still, Ty might hit the spot for certain kids in that liminal stage.

LIFE OF TY

PENGUIN PROBLEMS

The spinoff from the popular The Winnie Years series will offer a new, younger generation of Myracle fans the chance to enjoy the ups and downs of the Perry family.

Seven-year-old Ty was the baby of the family until his little sister came along, and getting used to life with a demanding new baby around hasn’t been easy. Desperate for his mother’s attention and struggling with feelings of jealousy he’s too young to understand, Ty begins to act out. Though the action doesn’t really pick up until Ty makes it to the aquarium about a third of the way through the book, his escapades will entertain and endear Ty to readers. With its easily accessible language and engaging black-and-white illustrations, this book makes for a wonderful read-aloud, particularly for young children who are likely to be experiencing the same growing pains in their own homes. Early chapter-book readers, however, might be turned off by the fact that Ty often feels more like a 4- or 5-year-old than a “big guy” second-grader. Some might secretly relate to what Ty is going through (like rediscovering the comfort of a pacifier), but it’s hard to imagine that most children capable of reading a book like this on their own wouldn’t seek out a more mature protagonist.

Still, Ty might hit the spot for certain kids in that liminal stage. (Fiction. 6-8)

Pub Date: May 2, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-525-42264-8

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2013

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An all-day sugar rush, putting the “fun” back into, er, education.

IF I BUILT A SCHOOL

A young visionary describes his ideal school: “Perfectly planned and impeccably clean. / On a scale, 1 to 10, it’s more like 15!”

In keeping with the self-indulgently fanciful lines of If I Built a Car (2005) and If I Built a House (2012), young Jack outlines in Seussian rhyme a shiny, bright, futuristic facility in which students are swept to open-roofed classes in clear tubes, there are no tests but lots of field trips, and art, music, and science are afterthoughts next to the huge and awesome gym, playground, and lunchroom. A robot and lots of cute puppies (including one in a wheeled cart) greet students at the door, robotically made-to-order lunches range from “PB & jelly to squid, lightly seared,” and the library’s books are all animated popups rather than the “everyday regular” sorts. There are no guards to be seen in the spacious hallways—hardly any adults at all, come to that—and the sparse coed student body features light- and dark-skinned figures in roughly equal numbers, a few with Asian features, and one in a wheelchair. Aside from the lack of restrooms, it seems an idyllic environment—at least for dog-loving children who prefer sports and play over quieter pursuits.

An all-day sugar rush, putting the “fun” back into, er, education. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-55291-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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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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