GREAT-AUNT IDA AND HER GREAT DANE, DOC

Skateboarding down the block for his weekly visit with his elderly aunt, the peppy, freckled kid, sweatband holding his squared-off red hair bolt upright, dolefully anticipates the usual tedium while Aunt Ida stops to chat with friends during their walk with her Great Dane. ``If Doc and me could have our own way/We'd get up and GO, MAN, GO!'' While he endures the sedate pace, the boy imagines what he and the dog could do if they escaped: ``rope cattle on the prairie,'' perform in a circus... But when an awesome-looking pack of strays threatens, it's Aund Ida who has the gumption to shout, `` `SHOOOOO!' And they do!'' Komaiko's perky verse, an unusually felicitous marriage of story and playful use of language keeps the story skipping along at a pace precluding any boredom in the audience, while Schindler's witty, dynamic illustrations are right in step. The huge, bumptious dog, sturdy kid, and jowly old lady (who has a twinkle in her eye from the start) make a likable trio. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 1994

ISBN: 0-385-30682-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1994

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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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A quiet story of sharing with no strings attached.

EXTRA YARN

A little girl in a town of white snow and soot-blackened chimneys opens a small box and discovers a never-ending gift of colorful yarn.

Annabelle knits herself a sweater, and with the leftover yarn, she knits one for her dog, and with the yarn left over from that, she knits one for a neighbor and for her classmates and for her teacher and for her family and for the birdhouse and for the buildings in town. All and everything are warm, cozy and colorful until a clotheshorse of an archduke arrives. Annabelle refuses his monetary offers, whereupon the box is stolen. The greedy archduke gets his just deserts when he opens the box to find it empty. It wends its way back to Annabelle, who ends up happily sitting in a knit-covered tree. Klassen, who worked on the film Coraline, uses inks, gouache and colorized scans of a sweater to create a stylized, linear design of dark geometric shapes against a white background. The stitches of the sweaters add a subdued rainbow. Barnett entertained middle-grade readers with his Brixton Brothers detective series. Here, he maintains a folkloric narrative that results in a traditional story arc complete with repetition, drama and a satisfying conclusion.

A quiet story of sharing with no strings attached. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 17, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-06-195338-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2011

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