This pourquoi tale that explains some of the aspects of the seasonal changes and the reason for rain makes a nice complement...


From the Princess Stories series

Venturing past Disney princesses, here is Ibura, Brazilian Princess of the Springs. 

Published as a beginning reader for children who have had some practice, this tale is adapted from one found in a Web-based collection with no further attribution. The vocabulary has been simplified, but the content has not been substantially changed. Ibura is the daughter of the Giantess of the Great River and the Moon Giant. She in turn marries the Sun Giant (amusingly pictured as a little shorter than his new spouse). Ibura insists on her freedom to spend three months each year with her mother. When her baby is born, the Sun Giant refuses to let the infant boy go with his mother; when Ibura’s return is delayed, he marries another wife and abandons the child, until Ibura can return to rescue him. The characters are mythical, but they also have human qualities. There is no information about the specific cultural origins of the story beyond the Amazon (Great River) connections. The stylized illustrations are executed in acrylics and graphite, and the full-bleed double-page spreads are quite attractive for an early reader, though the small type is occasionally hard to make out against the backgrounds. 

This pourquoi tale that explains some of the aspects of the seasonal changes and the reason for rain makes a nice complement to Persephone’s story . (Early reader/folk tale. 6-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-78285-101-1

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Barefoot Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 6, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2014

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An all-day sugar rush, putting the “fun” back into, er, education.


A young visionary describes his ideal school: “Perfectly planned and impeccably clean. / On a scale, 1 to 10, it’s more like 15!”

In keeping with the self-indulgently fanciful lines of If I Built a Car (2005) and If I Built a House (2012), young Jack outlines in Seussian rhyme a shiny, bright, futuristic facility in which students are swept to open-roofed classes in clear tubes, there are no tests but lots of field trips, and art, music, and science are afterthoughts next to the huge and awesome gym, playground, and lunchroom. A robot and lots of cute puppies (including one in a wheeled cart) greet students at the door, robotically made-to-order lunches range from “PB & jelly to squid, lightly seared,” and the library’s books are all animated popups rather than the “everyday regular” sorts. There are no guards to be seen in the spacious hallways—hardly any adults at all, come to that—and the sparse coed student body features light- and dark-skinned figures in roughly equal numbers, a few with Asian features, and one in a wheelchair. Aside from the lack of restrooms, it seems an idyllic environment—at least for dog-loving children who prefer sports and play over quieter pursuits.

An all-day sugar rush, putting the “fun” back into, er, education. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-55291-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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            There are many parallel legends – the seal women, for example, with their strange sad longings – but none is more direct than this American Indian story of a girl who is carried away in a horses’ stampede…to ride thenceforth by the side of a beautiful stallion who leads the wild horses.  The girl had always loved horses, and seemed to understand them “in a special way”; a year after her disappearance her people find her riding beside the stallion, calf in tow, and take her home despite his strong resistance.  But she is unhappy and returns to the stallion; after that, a beautiful mare is seen riding always beside him.  Goble tells the story soberly, allowing it to settle, to find its own level.  The illustrations are in the familiar striking Goble style, but softened out here and there with masses of flowers and foliage – suitable perhaps for the switch in subject matter from war to love, but we miss the spanking clean design of Custer’s Last Battle and The Fetterman Fight.          6-7

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1978

ISBN: 0689845049

Page Count: -

Publisher: Bradbury

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1978

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