Anastasia Krupnik and her family return in a sixth witty and perceptive novel. Anastasia, now 13, is studying to become a journalist. But even applying journalistic techniques and asking the proper questions doesn't solve all the problems in her life. She's concerned about her friend Daphne's situation, with a father who's left the family and a mother who now hates men. How can Anastasia reinterest Daphne's mother in a social life? And Anastasia wonders why she is the only one who can't climb the ropes in gym class—especially when her gym teacher is, in Anastasia's eyes, the worst possible person to witness her humiliation. With her customary zest, Anastasia tackles these problems head-on, and surprises even herself with the success in solving them. Lowry's deft portrayal of the emotional ups and downs of being 13 is right on target. Readers will identify with Anastasia and enjoy her methods of coping with problems and feelings. Some readers may be offended by the flip attitude toward the death of Anastasia's Aunt Rose. The blasé reactions of Anastasia and her little brother Sam may be tree to life, but at least the recently bereaved Uncle George could show a little feeling. This quibble aside, Anastasia will win new fans and delight her old ones with this addition.

Pub Date: April 28, 1986

ISBN: 0395417953

Page Count: 134

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: Oct. 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1986

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More gift book than storybook, this is a meaningful addition to nursery bookshelves


A young child explores the unlimited potential inherent in all humans.

“Have you ever wondered why you are here?” asks the second-person narration. There is no one like you. Maybe you’re here to make a difference with your uniqueness; maybe you will speak for those who can’t or use your gifts to shine a light into the darkness. The no-frills, unrhymed narrative encourages readers to follow their hearts and tap into their limitless potential to be anything and do anything. The precisely inked and colored artwork plays with perspective from the first double-page spread, in which the child contemplates a mountain (or maybe an iceberg) in their hands. Later, they stand on a ladder to place white spots on tall, red mushrooms. The oversized flora and fauna seem to symbolize the presumptively insurmountable, reinforcing the book’s message that anything is possible. This quiet read, with its sophisticated central question, encourages children to reach for their untapped potential while reminding them it won’t be easy—they will make messes and mistakes—but the magic within can help overcome falls and failures. It’s unlikely that members of the intended audience have begun to wonder about their life’s purpose, but this life-affirming mood piece has honorable intentions. The child, accompanied by an adorable piglet and sporting overalls and a bird-beaked cap made of leaves, presents white.

More gift book than storybook, this is a meaningful addition to nursery bookshelves . (Picture book. 2-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-946873-75-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: May 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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With the same delightfully irreverent spirit that he brought to his retelling of "Little Red Riding Hood" (1987), Marshall enlivens another favorite. Although completely retold with his usual pungent wit and contemporary touches ("I don't mind if I do," says Goldilocks, as she tries out porridge, chair, and bed), Marshall retains the stories well-loved pattern, including Goldilocks escaping through the window (whereupon Baby Bear inquires, "Who was that little girl?"). The illustrations are fraught with delicious humor and detail: books that are stacked everywhere around the rather cluttered house, including some used in lieu of a missing leg for Papa Bear's chair; comically exaggerated beds—much too high at the head and the foot; and Baby Bear's wonderfully messy room, which certainly brings the story into the 20th century. Like its predecessor, perfect for several uses, from picture-book hour to beginning reading.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1988

ISBN: 0140563660

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1988

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