``When the sky was young and the world just a dream . . . a spider named Nobb came floating through the air'' looking for a safe haven for her ripening egg. Turned away by the moon, the sun, and a cloud, she stretches a web across the sky and catches them, biting off a little piece of each and wrapping it in sticky thread. Then clever Nobb creates ``the Earth with the Fire inside it,'' by wrapping the piece of moon round and round the piece of sun. She lays her egg between two mountains and out come not only spiderlings, but all the beings that ``fill the world to this day.'' MacDonald (Let's Make a Noise, 1992, etc.) offers an original and well-paced creation myth, simply and beautifully illustrated with Karas's unusually bold spreads in acrylic and gouache, featuring wide expanses of sky, silvery gray around the moon, a rich deep red near the sun, and cool watery green around the cloud- -all webbed over with the fine white lines of Nobb's sticky thread. Most of the pictures are serenely simple, which makes the teeming life bursting from the egg all the more magnificent. A generous work, in which text and artwork are fully bound to one another. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-531-09505-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Orchard

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 1996

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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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A quiet story of sharing with no strings attached.


A little girl in a town of white snow and soot-blackened chimneys opens a small box and discovers a never-ending gift of colorful yarn.

Annabelle knits herself a sweater, and with the leftover yarn, she knits one for her dog, and with the yarn left over from that, she knits one for a neighbor and for her classmates and for her teacher and for her family and for the birdhouse and for the buildings in town. All and everything are warm, cozy and colorful until a clotheshorse of an archduke arrives. Annabelle refuses his monetary offers, whereupon the box is stolen. The greedy archduke gets his just deserts when he opens the box to find it empty. It wends its way back to Annabelle, who ends up happily sitting in a knit-covered tree. Klassen, who worked on the film Coraline, uses inks, gouache and colorized scans of a sweater to create a stylized, linear design of dark geometric shapes against a white background. The stitches of the sweaters add a subdued rainbow. Barnett entertained middle-grade readers with his Brixton Brothers detective series. Here, he maintains a folkloric narrative that results in a traditional story arc complete with repetition, drama and a satisfying conclusion.

A quiet story of sharing with no strings attached. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 17, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-06-195338-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2011

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