KING KENRICK'S SPLINTER

King Kenrick jumps out of bed on Hero's Day morning, only to get a splinter in his toe. Rather than tell the sadistic, tweezers-happy queen about it, he decides to hide the fact. Since his shoes hurt, however, he has to wear slippers, which makes the queen suspicious. She pries the truth from him and is about to get her instruments of torture when the cook, Gloria, tells them of her Uncle Archibald, splinter remover extraordinaire. Uncle Archibald comes and removes the offensive dart, but not without teasing and bullying the king a bit. Kenrick, however, ``wasn't used to having people tell him what to do. (Except for the queen, of course.)'' So when Uncle Archibald finishes his job, the king orders him taken to the dungeon. He's only kidding, though, and Uncle Archibald and he have a good laugh over it. Then King Kenrick puts on his shiny black shoes and leads the Hero's Day parade in style. Derby's (Jacob and the Stranger, p. 843, etc.) little king is adorable; Gore's cartoonish illustrations match the witty tone to a tee. Amusing, especially to anyone who has faced the unhappy tweezers. (Fiction/Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 10, 1994

ISBN: 0-8027-8322-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Walker

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 1994

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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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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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