Tallulah shines as a real little dancer with her own distinct style, learning step by step.

TALLULAH'S NUTCRACKER

In the fourth entry in the popular series about budding ballerina Tallulah, she wins a part as a mouse in a professional production of The Nutcracker, but the performance doesn’t turn out as she imagines.

Tallulah is thrilled when she begins rehearsals with a professional ballet company for their holiday production. She and the other mice are taught by the ballet master, and Tallulah tries hard to be the most enthusiastic mouse in the cast. While spunky Tallulah is full of drive and passion for ballet, she also develops a bit of an attitude and begins to brag to her dance-class friends and brother. On opening night, Tallulah steps on the tail of another mouse, causing a chain accident of fallen mice and soldiers. She is comforted backstage by the ballet master and the dancers playing Clara and the Sugar Plum Fairy, who share their own stories of performance mishaps. The story unfolds with skillful pacing and a delicate balance between Tallulah’s free-wheeling thoughts (indicated in a different typeface) and the dramatic tension of the ballet rehearsals and performance. Boiger’s whimsical watercolors are beautifully composed, creating captivating scenes of dance class, the backstage area and the performance.

Tallulah shines as a real little dancer with her own distinct style, learning step by step. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-547-84557-9

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 14, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Just the thing for anyone with a Grinch-y tree of their own in the yard.

THE HALLOWEEN TREE

A grouchy sapling on a Christmas tree farm finds that there are better things than lights and decorations for its branches.

A Grinch among the other trees on the farm is determined never to become a sappy Christmas tree—and never to leave its spot. Its determination makes it so: It grows gnarled and twisted and needle-less. As time passes, the farm is swallowed by the suburbs. The neighborhood kids dare one another to climb the scary, grumpy-looking tree, and soon, they are using its branches for their imaginative play, the tree serving as a pirate ship, a fort, a spaceship, and a dragon. But in winter, the tree stands alone and feels bereft and lonely for the first time ever, and it can’t look away from the decorated tree inside the house next to its lot. When some parents threaten to cut the “horrible” tree down, the tree thinks, “Not now that my limbs are full of happy children,” showing how far it has come. Happily for the tree, the children won’t give up so easily, and though the tree never wished to become a Christmas tree, it’s perfectly content being a “trick or tree.” Martinez’s digital illustrations play up the humorous dichotomy between the happy, aspiring Christmas trees (and their shoppers) and the grumpy tree, and the diverse humans are satisfyingly expressive.

Just the thing for anyone with a Grinch-y tree of their own in the yard. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4926-7335-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A lovely story of giving and community founded in Nigerian culture. Delectable.

THANK YOU, OMU!

Omu makes a stew so delicious everyone in the neighborhood follows their noses to her door.

Omu (which means “queen” in Igbo—Omu is black) is making a “thick red stew in a big fat pot” for her dinner. She tastes it, saying it’ll be the most delicious supper she’s ever had, while out the window drifts the scent of the “scrumptious” stew until it reaches a little boy. The story is peppered with synonyms for “scrumptious” (itself repeated throughout), allowing readers the chance to discuss and expand vocabulary. When the little boy follows the smell to Omu’s door, she kindly offers to share her stew with him. So begins a veritable parade of neighborhood residents who, led by the smell, end up at Omu’s door. The collage art adds texture, depth, and distinctiveness to each character. Omu shares her thick red stew with all and receives grateful thanks in reply. Alas, when Omu looks for her own supper, she finds her pot empty. The expressive illustrations convey her despondency as she answers yet another knock at her door to find…that the multiracial neighbors she shared with are back! This time, they have gifts in hand and are ready to make her a wonderful supper, which turns into another shared meal and a dance party.

A lovely story of giving and community founded in Nigerian culture. Delectable. (author’s note) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-316-43124-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: July 30, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more