MOONSTRUCK

THE TRUE STORY OF THE COW WHO JUMPED OVER THE MOON

Choldenko's first book gives the lowdown on the cow who was heralded in the headlines of her time—e.g.,``Flying Bovine'' and ``Cow Shaped UFO Reported.'' The whole story of the famous flight comes straight from the horse's mouth—that is, the horse who coached her. He thinks the cow got the shaft in Mother Goose's record: ``One lousy line—not even a whole poem,'' says he, before telling it like it was: The cow kept hanging around the equine moon-jumping hopefuls, wormed her way in and started using their equipment, showed up for every practice, and kept her sights fixed firmly on the moon. She made the team—her name, Miss Cow, posted on the shortlist with the likes of Loco Motive and Trotting Travis. This very funny story sends up TV sports profiles; the horse's tough, gravelly voice puts a fine spin on this bovine interest piece as he focuses on the impossible odds, lofty dreams, and fierce dedication of the upstart athlete, finishing with a spirited play-by-play of the legendary jump. Yalowitz's colored pencil illustrations take the story and fly with it. Full of humorous details (the headlines, the lonely competitor awaiting practice time, the cow's crescent moon tattoo), the scenes capture the mood perfectly, especially the close-up of the cow blasting off and the aerial view with Earth far below. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-7868-0158-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1997

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A DOG NAMED SAM

A book that will make young dog-owners smile in recognition and confirm dogless readers' worst suspicions about the mayhem caused by pets, even winsome ones. Sam, who bears passing resemblance to an affable golden retriever, is praised for fetching the family newspaper, and goes on to fetch every other newspaper on the block. In the next story, only the children love Sam's swimming; he is yelled at by lifeguards and fishermen alike when he splashes through every watering hole he can find. Finally, there is woe to the entire family when Sam is bored and lonely for one long night. Boland has an essential message, captured in both both story and illustrations of this Easy-to-Read: Kids and dogs belong together, especially when it's a fun-loving canine like Sam. An appealing tale. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-8037-1530-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1996

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Visually accomplished but marred by stereotypical cultural depictions.

HOME

Ellis, known for her illustrations for Colin Meloy’s Wildwood series, here riffs on the concept of “home.”

Shifting among homes mundane and speculative, contemporary and not, Ellis begins and ends with views of her own home and a peek into her studio. She highlights palaces and mansions, but she also takes readers to animal homes and a certain famously folkloric shoe (whose iconic Old Woman manages a passel of multiethnic kids absorbed in daring games). One spread showcases “some folks” who “live on the road”; a band unloads its tour bus in front of a theater marquee. Ellis’ compelling ink and gouache paintings, in a palette of blue-grays, sepia and brick red, depict scenes ranging from mythical, underwater Atlantis to a distant moonscape. Another spread, depicting a garden and large building under connected, transparent domes, invites readers to wonder: “Who in the world lives here? / And why?” (Earth is seen as a distant blue marble.) Some of Ellis’ chosen depictions, oddly juxtaposed and stripped of any historical or cultural context due to the stylized design and spare text, become stereotypical. “Some homes are boats. / Some homes are wigwams.” A sailing ship’s crew seems poised to land near a trio of men clad in breechcloths—otherwise unidentified and unremarked upon.

Visually accomplished but marred by stereotypical cultural depictions. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 24, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6529-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2014

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