THE HINKY PINK

AN OLD TALE

Extraordinary seamstress Anabel wants to work for a true princess, one with beautiful features and a name ending in “ella.” When Princess Isabella Caramella Gorgonzola soils her dress before the ball, she gives Anabel a week to create a designer gown while working in the princess’s tower. Each night, an unknown creature pinches the seamstress and interrupts her slumber. Nursemaid Mag advises the girl that the Hinky-Pink goblin causes her unrest and will only end her torment—and give her the chance to finish the dress—if Anabel makes the creature a bed of its own, but each attempt dramatically fails. McDonald’s storytelling excels through flavorful language, controlled pacing and a delightful conclusion. Floca displays the charm of Old World Florence through soft watercolor-and-ink illustrations that fill the pages, capturing the city’s world-renowned landmarks. His delicate lines, full of vitality, enhance the retelling of this tale, which was inspired by Margery Bailey’s 1940 story, The Bed Just So. Fairy-tale enthusiasts will delight in this fanciful story. (Fiction. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 16, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-689-87588-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Richard Jackson/Atheneum

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2008

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HELLO, HARVEST MOON

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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NOT A BOX

Dedicated “to children everywhere sitting in cardboard boxes,” this elemental debut depicts a bunny with big, looping ears demonstrating to a rather thick, unseen questioner (“Are you still standing around in that box?”) that what might look like an ordinary carton is actually a race car, a mountain, a burning building, a spaceship or anything else the imagination might dream up. Portis pairs each question and increasingly emphatic response with a playscape of Crockett Johnson–style simplicity, digitally drawn with single red and black lines against generally pale color fields. Appropriately bound in brown paper, this makes its profound point more directly than such like-themed tales as Marisabina Russo’s Big Brown Box (2000) or Dana Kessimakis Smith’s Brave Spaceboy (2005). (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-06-112322-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2006

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