Well-suited for today’s bilingual learning environments, if not a particularly rich read.

MAX AND SARAH BUILD A SNOWMAN / MAX Y SARAH HACEN UN MUÑECO DE NIEVE

From the ¡Hola English! series

Max and Sarah’s simple indoor game of hide-and-seek moves to the wintry outdoors where, with help from Mommy, they build a snowgirl and a snowboy.

Succinct, easy-to-read sentences in English with the corresponding Spanish accompany childlike illustrations in a muted palette. The repetitive text allows for recognition and fluency after several readings. “Sarah, where are you?” / “Sarah, ¿dónde estás?” // “I’m looking for you.” “I’m looking behind the chair.” / “Te estoy buscando.” “Estoy buscando atrás de la silla.” Children fluent in English or Spanish and learning to read and speak the alternate version will effortlessly fall into a pattern and pick up the 42 new vocabulary words (handily displayed on the back cover). Trukhan’s paintings depict Caucasian sibs in a suburban home, planting just enough interior-design detail to situate readers. Useful though the story may be for language-learning purposes, its plotting is flat and arbitrary; the hide-and-seek game occupies a good two-thirds of the book before Max and Sarah go outside to build the snowchildren. (Readers will also note the misleading title.)

Well-suited for today’s bilingual learning environments, if not a particularly rich read. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 14, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-60905-511-0

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Blue Apple

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2014

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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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An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some...

RALPH TELLS A STORY

With a little help from his audience, a young storyteller gets over a solid case of writer’s block in this engaging debut.

Despite the (sometimes creatively spelled) examples produced by all his classmates and the teacher’s assertion that “Stories are everywhere!” Ralph can’t get past putting his name at the top of his paper. One day, lying under the desk in despair, he remembers finding an inchworm in the park. That’s all he has, though, until his classmates’ questions—“Did it feel squishy?” “Did your mom let you keep it?” “Did you name it?”—open the floodgates for a rousing yarn featuring an interloping toddler, a broad comic turn and a dramatic rescue. Hanlon illustrates the episode with childlike scenes done in transparent colors, featuring friendly-looking children with big smiles and widely spaced button eyes. The narrative text is printed in standard type, but the children’s dialogue is rendered in hand-lettered printing within speech balloons. The episode is enhanced with a page of elementary writing tips and the tantalizing titles of his many subsequent stories (“When I Ate Too Much Spaghetti,” “The Scariest Hamster,” “When the Librarian Yelled Really Loud at Me,” etc.) on the back endpapers.

An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some budding young writers off and running. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2012

ISBN: 978-0761461807

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Amazon Children's Publishing

Review Posted Online: Aug. 22, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2012

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