SURE AS SUNRISE

STORIES OF BRUH RABBIT & HIS WALKIN’ TALKIN’ FRIENDS

Veteran talespinner McGill looks back to her North Carolina childhood for five trickster tales, three featuring Bruh Rabbit. Cast in country cadences, they’re just right for reading—or for telling. Bruh Rabbit is snagged not by a tar baby, but by his love of music in “Please don’t Fling Me in the Briar Patch.” He’s himself tricked out of “Looking to Get Married” and cleverly convinces gullible Bruh Fox to take his place in “Bruh Rabbit’s Mystery Bag.” A sample: “ ‘WHO THAT UP THERE?’ somebody on the ground hollered. ‘Who that down there?’ Bruh Rabbit asked, twitching around in the sack. ‘Who that up there saying “WHO THAT?” when I say, ‘WHO THAT?’ the same voice came back.” McGill adds commentary before and after each tale, giving Joel Chandler Harris his due, but no more than that. Tate illustrates with close-up scenes of sculpted-looking animals in rural dress, often viewed from very low angles to create aptly exaggerated perspectives. Most of these are available in other versions, but the reteller has made them new with some delicious twists. (lengthy introduction) (Folktales. 7-11)

Pub Date: April 22, 2004

ISBN: 0-618-21196-9

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2004

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DONAVAN'S WORD JAR

Donavan's friends collect buttons and marbles, but he collects words. ``NUTRITION,'' ``BALLYHOO,'' ``ABRACADABRA''—these and other words are safely stored on slips of paper in a jar. As it fills, Donavan sees a storage problem developing and, after soliciting advice from his teacher and family, solves it himself: Visiting his grandma at a senior citizens' apartment house, he settles a tenants' argument by pulling the word ``COMPROMISE'' from his jar and, feeling ``as if the sun had come out inside him,'' discovers the satisfaction of giving his words away. Appealingly detailed b&w illustrations depict Donavan and his grandma as African-Americans. This Baltimore librarian's first book is sure to whet readers' appetites for words, and may even start them on their own savory collections. (Fiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: June 30, 1994

ISBN: 0-06-020190-8

Page Count: 72

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1994

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An uncomplicated opener, with some funny bits and a clear but not heavy agenda.

BOOKMARKS ARE PEOPLE TOO!

From the Here's Hank series , Vol. 1

Hank Zipzer, poster boy for dyslexic middle graders everywhere, stars in a new prequel series highlighting second-grade trials and triumphs.

Hank’s hopes of playing Aqua Fly, a comic-book character, in the upcoming class play founder when, despite plenty of coaching and preparation, he freezes up during tryouts. He is not particularly comforted when his sympathetic teacher adds a nonspeaking role as a bookmark to the play just for him. Following the pattern laid down in his previous appearances as an older child, he gets plenty of help and support from understanding friends (including Ashley Wong, a new apartment-house neighbor). He even manages to turn lemons into lemonade with a quick bit of improv when Nick “the Tick” McKelty, the sneering classmate who took his preferred role, blanks on his lines during the performance. As the aforementioned bully not only chokes in the clutch and gets a demeaning nickname, but is fat, boastful and eats like a pig, the authors’ sensitivity is rather one-sided. Still, Hank has a winning way of bouncing back from adversity, and like the frequent black-and-white line-and-wash drawings, the typeface is designed with easy legibility in mind.

An uncomplicated opener, with some funny bits and a clear but not heavy agenda. (Fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: Feb. 14, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-448-48239-2

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: Dec. 11, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

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