FAVORITE THINGS

Ask an imaginative little boy about his favorite things, and he won’t be limited to extolling the virtues of raindrops on roses. Matthew, the main character in this creative bedtime tale, spins out some whoppers as he recounts his favorite things of the day to his mother, who clearly appreciates her child’s powerful imagination. Matthew recounts a day full of singing elephants, a supersonic car race with his dad, a giant tyrannosaurus squirrel, and spaceman adventures with his friends, with some funny circular interactions between the characters. Huliska-Beith does a great job of illustrating these diverse characters (especially the huge squirrel) with a combination of painting and collage. Matthew’s outrageously wild tales and individualistic logic contrast well with his mother’s calm, attentive demeanor in a way that will be satisfying to both children and adults. Though the ending is a little saccharine after all those creative adventures, the final page promises Matthew a visit from dancing blue hippopotamuses and leaves the door open for a sequel. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: June 1, 2003

ISBN: 0-8037-2597-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2003

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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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HELLO, HARVEST MOON

As atmospheric as its companion, Twilight Comes Twice, this tone poem pairs poetically intense writing with luminescent oils featuring widely spaced houses, open lawns, and clumps of autumnal trees, all lit by a huge full moon. Fletcher tracks that moon’s nocturnal path in language rich in metaphor: “With silent slippers / it climbs the night stairs,” “staining earth and sky with a ghostly glow,” lighting up a child’s bedroom, the wings of a small plane, moonflowers, and, ranging further afield, harbor waves and the shells of turtle hatchlings on a beach. Using creamy brushwork and subtly muted colors, Kiesler depicts each landscape, each night creature from Luna moths to a sleepless child and her cat, as well as the great moon sweeping across star-flecked skies, from varied but never vertiginous angles. Closing with moonset, as dawn illuminates the world with a different kind of light, this makes peaceful reading either in season, or on any moonlit night. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 2003

ISBN: 0-618-16451-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2003

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