THE FISHERMAN AND HIS WIFE

Continuing her career through the classic fairy tales, Isadora turns to the familiar story of overweening greed for her latest adaptation. As with Princess and the Pea (2007) and Twelve Dancing Princesses (2007), she relocates the European tale to an unspecified African shore, employing her Eric Carle–like collage technique of placing broadly painted cut-outs against a white background. As the story runs its course, the wife becoming greedier and greedier and the flounder waxing angrier and angrier, the painted ocean modulates from turquoise to gray and stormy, taking over the page in nicely terrifying fashion as jagged blades of rain stab its surface. This tale adapts to its new setting somewhat better than her previous efforts, perhaps because of the universality of the themes, perhaps because the tight focus on the two characters allows them to develop fully. As the wife declares that being Pope isn’t good enough—she wants to become God—she and her husband appear silhouetted against a rising African sun, God’s creation surrounding her—a nicely ironic image beautifully executed, making this offering fresh and welcome. (Picture book/fairy tale. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-399-24771-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2008

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A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift.

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BECAUSE I HAD A TEACHER

A paean to teachers and their surrogates everywhere.

This gentle ode to a teacher’s skill at inspiring, encouraging, and being a role model is spoken, presumably, from a child’s viewpoint. However, the voice could equally be that of an adult, because who can’t look back upon teachers or other early mentors who gave of themselves and offered their pupils so much? Indeed, some of the self-aware, self-assured expressions herein seem perhaps more realistic as uttered from one who’s already grown. Alternatively, readers won’t fail to note that this small book, illustrated with gentle soy-ink drawings and featuring an adult-child bear duo engaged in various sedentary and lively pursuits, could just as easily be about human parent- (or grandparent-) child pairs: some of the softly colored illustrations depict scenarios that are more likely to occur within a home and/or other family-oriented setting. Makes sense: aren’t parents and other close family members children’s first teachers? This duality suggests that the book might be best shared one-on-one between a nostalgic adult and a child who’s developed some self-confidence, having learned a thing or two from a parent, grandparent, older relative, or classroom instructor.

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943200-08-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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A DOG NAMED SAM

A book that will make young dog-owners smile in recognition and confirm dogless readers' worst suspicions about the mayhem caused by pets, even winsome ones. Sam, who bears passing resemblance to an affable golden retriever, is praised for fetching the family newspaper, and goes on to fetch every other newspaper on the block. In the next story, only the children love Sam's swimming; he is yelled at by lifeguards and fishermen alike when he splashes through every watering hole he can find. Finally, there is woe to the entire family when Sam is bored and lonely for one long night. Boland has an essential message, captured in both both story and illustrations of this Easy-to-Read: Kids and dogs belong together, especially when it's a fun-loving canine like Sam. An appealing tale. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-8037-1530-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1996

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