THE LITTLE MATCH GIRL

Pinkney’s deeply moving treatment of Andersen’s classic tale moves the events to an urban America of the 1920s. On a freezing New Year’s Eve, a girl stumbles outside in her stocking feet to try and sell matches. The jovial holiday crowd hustles by her; she is afraid to go home, where her father will beat her. To keep herself warm she lights her matches, and each blazes in a dream of holiday happiness. Her last vision is that of her kind grandmother, whom the child joins in a place beyond the reach of cold and poverty. On the last page, two shooting stars are shown blazing across the dark New Year’s sky. Pinkney’s detailed watercolors bring to life this cold winter night, and profusion of food and gifts just out of the girl’s reach. Flecks of snow tumble across the outdoor scenes, and warm yellow candlelight make indoor settings look especially cozy. Pinkney’s sense of pacing is also just right; readers will be captivated by the intimacy and drama his illustrations create. The result is so affecting that some will believe they’re encountering this story for the very first time. (Picture book/folklore. 5-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-8037-2314-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1999

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NO MATTER WHAT

Small, a very little fox, needs some reassurance from Large in the unconditional love department. If he is grim and grumpy, will he still be loved? “ ‘Oh, Small,’ said Large, ‘grumpy or not, I’ll always love you, no matter what.’ “ So it goes, in a gentle rhyme, as Large parries any number of questions that for Small are very telling. What if he were to turn into a young bear, or squishy bug, or alligator? Would a mother want to hug and hold these fearsome animals? Yes, yes, answers Large. “But does love wear out? Does it break or bend? Can you fix it or patch it? Does it mend?” There is comfort in Gliori’s pages, but it is a result of repetition and not the imagery; this is a quick fix, not an enduring one, but it eases Small’s fears and may well do the same for children. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-15-202061-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1999

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DAVID GOES TO SCHOOL

The poster boy for relentless mischief-makers everywhere, first encountered in No, David! (1998), gives his weary mother a rest by going to school. Naturally, he’s tardy, and that’s but the first in a long string of offenses—“Sit down, David! Keep your hands to yourself! PAY ATTENTION!”—that culminates in an afterschool stint. Children will, of course, recognize every line of the text and every one of David’s moves, and although he doesn’t exhibit the larger- than-life quality that made him a tall-tale anti-hero in his first appearance, his round-headed, gap-toothed enthusiasm is still endearing. For all his disruptive behavior, he shows not a trace of malice, and it’ll be easy for readers to want to encourage his further exploits. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-590-48087-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1999

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