CROCODILES, CAMELS, AND DUGOUT CANOES

EIGHT ADVENTUROUS EPISODES

Treacherous terrain and hostile environments were everyday fare for the 19th-century and early 20th-century global explorer-adventurers the husband-and-wife author and illustrator present in these pages. Life and limb were always at stake, but these gutsy, persevering men and women—among them Charles Waterton, Richard Burton, and Mary Kingsley—overcame fear, danger, and almost insurmountable obstacles to answer the call. August AndrÇe set out to be the first to travel across the North Pole in a balloon, Ernest Shackleford wanted to be the first to make an overland crossing of the Antarctic, and Annie Smith Peck was the third woman to climb the Matterhorn (and the first to make the climb in pants). Others, in the words of Robert Louis Stevenson, traveled “for travel’s sake”: Dervla Murphy wanted to see the world, while Antoine de Saint-ExupÇry wished to quench the “thirst to fly.” Running from three to five pages each, the vignettes offer snapshot-sized, near-death moments from the adventurers’ travels, then backpedal to include childhood events and other background. The same detailed pen-and-ink drawings that skillfully reveal perspectives in Munro’s Inside Outside books deftly capture the travels of these hardy souls, from the Arctic to the Sahara. (bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-525-45858-1

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1998

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Simple, bella, un regalo permenente: simple and beautiful, a gift that will stay.

HOW TÍA LOLA CAME TO (VISIT) STAY

From the Tía Lola Stories series , Vol. 1

Renowned Latin American writer Alvarez has created another story about cultural identity, but this time the primary character is 11-year-old Miguel Guzmán. 

When Tía Lola arrives to help the family, Miguel and his hermana, Juanita, have just moved from New York City to Vermont with their recently divorced mother. The last thing Miguel wants, as he's trying to fit into a predominantly white community, is a flamboyant aunt who doesn't speak a word of English. Tía Lola, however, knows a language that defies words; she quickly charms and befriends all the neighbors. She can also cook exotic food, dance (anywhere, anytime), plan fun parties, and tell enchanting stories. Eventually, Tía Lola and the children swap English and Spanish ejercicios, but the true lesson is "mutual understanding." Peppered with Spanish words and phrases, Alvarez makes the reader as much a part of the "language" lessons as the characters. This story seamlessly weaves two culturaswhile letting each remain intact, just as Miguel is learning to do with his own life. Like all good stories, this one incorporates a lesson just subtle enough that readers will forget they're being taught, but in the end will understand themselves, and others, a little better, regardless of la lengua nativa—the mother tongue.

Simple, bella, un regalo permenente: simple and beautiful, a gift that will stay. (Fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: March 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-375-80215-0

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2001

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With comically realistic black-and-white illustrations by Selznick (The Robot King, 1995, etc.), this is a captivating...

FRINDLE

Nicholas is a bright boy who likes to make trouble at school, creatively. 

When he decides to torment his fifth-grade English teacher, Mrs. Granger (who is just as smart as he is), by getting everyone in the class to replace the word "pen'' with "frindle,'' he unleashes a series of events that rapidly spins out of control. If there's any justice in the world, Clements (Temple Cat, 1995, etc.) may have something of a classic on his hands. By turns amusing and adroit, this first novel is also utterly satisfying. The chess-like sparring between the gifted Nicholas and his crafty teacher is enthralling, while Mrs. Granger is that rarest of the breed: a teacher the children fear and complain about for the school year, and love and respect forever after. 

With comically realistic black-and-white illustrations by Selznick (The Robot King, 1995, etc.), this is a captivating tale—one to press upon children, and one they'll be passing among themselves. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-689-80669-8

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1996

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