In a work subtitled ``The Story of Buffalo Bill Cody and the Pony Express,'' Glass (Folks Call Me Appleseed John, 1995, etc.) presents a well-researched, colorfully written, and dynamically illustrated fictional (some characters are invented, and historians are unsure whether Cody actually carried mail for the Pony Express) account of how 14-year-old Will Cody became the youngest rider, carrying the news of President Lincoln's election westward on a portion of the route along the North Platte and Sweetwater rivers in Wyoming Territory. The tale, told in the colloquial first-person narration of an older man reminiscing about the greatest adventure of his life, concludes with brief mentions of Cody's later exploits as Union Army scout, buffalo hunter, and showman. Scratch-textured oil paintings, with Glass's trademark purple shadows, are full of drama, rich color, and motion. He provides extensive notes; maps of the Pony Express route appear on the endpapers. This is a wonderful jumping-off point for further investigation of Cody's life and legend, the history of the Pony Express, westward expansion, Native American conflicts, decimation of the buffalo, or even California's teetering between the Union and the Confederacy before the Civil War. (Picture book. 7-11)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-385-32220-8

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1996

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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.


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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