HIC!

 A little South Asian girl in a dress and pigtails desperately tries to rid herself of the hiccups.

She drinks a pail of water while standing on a brick, spins around until she’s sick, and recites a limerick while standing on her head, but the hiccups just keep on coming. Her attempts to banish them grow more and more bizarre and are met with great expectations, but the results are always disastrous and hilarious and have no effect on her problem. Each suggested remedy and its aftermath play out over two double-page spreads. On the first, the suggestion (all rhyme with “ick”) is printed in large type and placed on a stark white background as the girl follows the directions. The results are then depicted in all their delicious chaos with the only text a despairing “HIC” uttered by that unhappy heroine. In the end she throws away her guidebook of ideas and challenges readers to help. The silly events unfold in India, as indicated by clothing, fauna, and a cheerily busy streetscape. The bold cartoon illustrations, screen-printed in organic inks, employ only black, white, blue, and gold, and the black-haired little girl’s skin tones are in those colors as well, changing for each anti-hiccup attempt. Hiccup tales are numerous and popular with young readers, but this one has a unique, delightful twist.

Laugh-out-loud fun. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2017

ISBN: 978-93-83145-64-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Tara Publishing

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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THE GIRL WHO LOVED WILD HORSES

            There are many parallel legends – the seal women, for example, with their strange sad longings – but none is more direct than this American Indian story of a girl who is carried away in a horses’ stampede…to ride thenceforth by the side of a beautiful stallion who leads the wild horses.  The girl had always loved horses, and seemed to understand them “in a special way”; a year after her disappearance her people find her riding beside the stallion, calf in tow, and take her home despite his strong resistance.  But she is unhappy and returns to the stallion; after that, a beautiful mare is seen riding always beside him.  Goble tells the story soberly, allowing it to settle, to find its own level.  The illustrations are in the familiar striking Goble style, but softened out here and there with masses of flowers and foliage – suitable perhaps for the switch in subject matter from war to love, but we miss the spanking clean design of Custer’s Last Battle and The Fetterman Fight.          6-7

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1978

ISBN: 0689845049

Page Count: -

Publisher: Bradbury

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1978

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A rollicking tale of rivalry.

IT HAPPENED ON SWEET STREET

Sweet Street had just one baker, Monsieur Oliphant, until two new confectionists move in, bringing a sugar rush of competition and customers.

First comes “Cookie Concocter par excellence” Mademoiselle Fee and then a pie maker, who opens “the divine Patisserie Clotilde!” With each new arrival to Sweet Street, rivalries mount and lines of hungry treat lovers lengthen. Children will delight in thinking about an abundance of gingerbread cookies, teetering, towering cakes, and blackbird pies. Wonderfully eccentric line-and-watercolor illustrations (with whites and marbled pastels like frosting) appeal too. Fine linework lends specificity to an off-kilter world in which buildings tilt at wacky angles and odd-looking (exclusively pale) people walk about, their pantaloons, ruffles, long torsos, and twiglike arms, legs, and fingers distinguishing them as wonderfully idiosyncratic. Rotund Monsieur Oliphant’s periwinkle complexion, flapping ears, and elongated nose make him look remarkably like an elephant while the women confectionists appear clownlike, with exaggerated lips, extravagantly lashed eyes, and voluminous clothes. French idioms surface intermittently, adding a certain je ne sais quoi. Embedded rhymes contribute to a bouncing, playful narrative too: “He layered them and cherried them and married people on them.” Tension builds as the cul de sac grows more congested with sweet-makers, competition, frustration, and customers. When the inevitable, fantastically messy food fight occurs, an observant child finds a sweet solution amid the delicious detritus.

A rollicking tale of rivalry. (Picture book. 4-8 )

Pub Date: July 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-101-91885-2

Page Count: 44

Publisher: Tundra Books

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2020

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