YOU'RE SOMEBODY SPECIAL, WALLIWIGS!

A rare Great Black Cockatoo is stranded as a fledgling aboard a steamship that has been his home since birth in this funny outing from Rankin (Wow! It’s Great Being a Duck, 1998, etc.). Left alone one morning, Walliwigs becomes aware that the steamship is leaving the harbor and therefore his mother, behind. He’s discovered by a cabin boy and taken to a farm owned by the boy’s aunt. Life in the chicken house is made bearable only with the help of Martha, a hen who loves him as her own. She recognizes his indomitable spirit and cherishes his uniqueness, warding off insensitive comments from other hens in the coop. When Professor Beak, a traveling ornithologist, takes delight in Walliwigs, the results are thrilling—he’s a rare, practically extinct bird. Borrowing on the theme from the tale of the Ugly Duckling, Rankin shows again that being different is something rare and wonderful, not a thing to be feared. Her lively watercolor art captures the cockiness of audacious chickens who feel superior without reasonable justification. Children, often bullied, more often misunderstood, will find their spirits lifted by this encounter with Walliwigs. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-689-82230-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 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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