BEWILDERED FOR THREE DAYS

AS TO WHY DANIEL BOONE NEVER WORE HIS COONSKIN CAP

Today’s kids might not know the name of Daniel Boone (or what a coonskin cap is), but this original tall tale explains why Boone wore that distinctive hat as a boy, and why he stopped wearing it, too. Glass (The Sweetwater Run: The Story of Buffalo Bill and the Pony Express, 1996, etc.) has crafted another original tall tale in his series of self-illustrated picture books for older readers that each describe an exciting fictionalized event in the younger days of an American folk hero. In this well-written tale full of frontier-flavored expressions, young Daniel Boone is growing up as a Quaker boy in Pennsylvania with a Delaware Native American companion who helps Daniel become an accomplished woodsman at a young age. On one of Boone’s solo rambles through the forest, he is surprised by an enormous “malodorous” bear who takes off with the coonskin cap (which was probably quite malodorous as well!). Daniel tracks the bear until he is chased by a group of Native Americans who shoot arrows at him and throw a tomahawk or two, terrifying the young Boone. Alert readers will notice that they are carrying Daniel’s cap, trying to return it to him. In the best tall-tale tradition, Daniel leaps off a cliff, swims down a river, and hides in a log with a raccoon family (the reason for giving up the coonskin cap), before finding his way back home after being “bewildered for three days.” Glass’s glowing full-page and double-page illustrations in colored pencil and oil pastels capture Daniel’s boisterous nature and action-packed adventures, but some will object to the rather stereotypical portrayal of the Native Americans in both art and text. An author’s note includes extensive information on the sources and research for the story; a bibliography and map of key sites are also included. (Picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2000

ISBN: 0-8234-1446-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2000

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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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BUBBA, THE COWBOY PRINCE

A FRACTURED TEXAS TALE

A Cinderella parody features the off-the-wall, whang-dang Texas hyperbole of Ketteman (The Year of No More Corn, 1993, etc.) and the insouciance of Warhola, who proves himself only too capable of creating a fairy godcow; that she's so appealingly whimsical makes it easy to accept the classic tale's inversions. The protagonist is Bubba, appropriately downtrodden and overworked by his wicked stepdaddy and loathsome brothers Dwayne and Milton, who spend their days bossing him around. The other half of the happy couple is Miz Lurleen, who owns ``the biggest spread west of the Brazos.'' She craves male companionship to help her work the place, ``and it wouldn't hurt if he was cute as a cow's ear, either.'' There are no surprises in this version except in the hilarious way the premise plays itself out and in Warhola's delightful visual surprises. When Lurleen tracks the bootless Bubba down, ``Dwayne and Milton and their wicked daddy threw chicken fits.'' Bubba and babe, hair as big as a Texas sun, ride off to a life of happy ranching, and readers will be proud to have been along for the courtship. (Picture book/folklore. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-590-25506-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1997

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