This is one of the very best of Rylant's Putter-Tabby dyad, as always affectionately depicted by the master of droll illustration. Mr. Putter decides to buy some fish to have at home. They remind him of his childhood. Tabby likes fish too. They "made her whiskers tingle and her tail twitch." And how: "Mr. Putter and Tabby drove their fish home. Tabby nearly twitched herself out of the car." Once they are home and the fish safely in their bowl, Tabby's whiskers chill and her tail quietens, but her paw swings into action. "Bat. Bat. Bat. Bat." It goes against the glass bowl. She can't control herself. By the time evening rolls around, Tabby is so frazzled it looks like she will have to enter a treatment program. So Mr. Putter drapes a pillowcase over the fishbowl. In the morning Tabby is found under the pillowcase and hard at batting the bowl. Mr. Putter is reduced to putting a metal pail over the bowl. A few days of that sad arrangement and they decide to give the fish to their neighbor Mrs. Teaberry. Like great farce, Rylant has chosen every word impeccably and Howard has drawn Tabby to a T, tingling whiskers, wayward paw, and all. Readers young and old will laugh themselves silly. (Easy reader. 4-9)

Pub Date: March 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-15-202408-5

Page Count: 44

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2001

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet


This vibrant, thoughtful book from Katz (Over the Moon, 1997) continues her tribute to her adopted daughter, Lena, born in Guatemala. Lena is “seven. I am the color of cinnamon. Mom says she could eat me up”; she learns during a painting lesson that to get the color brown, she will have to “mix red, yellow, black, and white paints.” They go for a walk to observe the many shades of brown: they see Sonia, who is the color of creamy peanut butter; Isabella, who is chocolate brown; Lucy, both peachy and tan; Jo-Jin, the color of honey; Kyle, “like leaves in fall”; Mr. Pellegrino, the color of pizza crust, golden brown. Lena realizes that every shade is beautiful, then mixes her paints accordingly for portraits of her friends—“The colors of us!” Bold illustrations celebrate diversity with a child’s open-hearted sensibility and a mother’s love. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-8050-5864-8

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1999

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet


The way-off-road vehicle (The Magic School Bus and the Electric Field, 1997, etc.) tours the ears, eyes, nose, and skin when the assistant principal, Mr. Wilde, accidentally shrinks the school bus and the children on board, commandeering it to deliver a message to Ms. Frizzle. The vehicle plunges into the eye of a police officer, where the students explore the pupil, the cornea, the retina, and the optic nerve leading to the brain. Then it’s on to other senses, via the ear of a small child, the nose of a dog, and the tongue of the Friz herself. Sidebars and captions add to the blizzard of information here; with a combination of plot, details, and jokes, the trip is anything but dull. The facts will certainly entice readers to learn more about the ways living creatures perceive the world. (Picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: March 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-590-44697-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1999

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet