LEMUEL THE FOOL

Uhlberg (Mad Dog McGraw, 2000, etc.) presents a properly poker-faced retelling of a popular European folktale. Lemuel the fisherman finally makes good on his dream of visiting a magical town he is sure sits just over the horizon. Aiming his boat in the direction of the red scarf he's tied to the bow, he is caught up in a storm and temporarily loses consciousness. No matter, the scarf still points the way. But when he arrives, he's astonished to discover that the streets, buildings, and people look just like those in his native village. Even more amazing, there's a boy who looks just like his son Sol and a woman who could not only be his wife Essie's twin, but she even knows his name! It's all too weird; Lemuel sneaks away that night, and after falling asleep in mid-voyage, "returns" to his own home. The tale's mild humor is picked up nicely in Lamut's airy paintings; nearly all of her neatly drawn people go about their business cheerfully among well-kept, tile-roofed houses, and despite her sharp-sounding words, Essie always greets her foolish husband with a fond smile. This rib-tickler should induce many a young armchair traveler to pay a visit to Chelm or Gotham. (Picture book/folktale. 6-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2001

ISBN: 1-56145-220-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2001

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

BUBBA, THE COWBOY PRINCE

A FRACTURED TEXAS TALE

A Cinderella parody features the off-the-wall, whang-dang Texas hyperbole of Ketteman (The Year of No More Corn, 1993, etc.) and the insouciance of Warhola, who proves himself only too capable of creating a fairy godcow; that she's so appealingly whimsical makes it easy to accept the classic tale's inversions. The protagonist is Bubba, appropriately downtrodden and overworked by his wicked stepdaddy and loathsome brothers Dwayne and Milton, who spend their days bossing him around. The other half of the happy couple is Miz Lurleen, who owns ``the biggest spread west of the Brazos.'' She craves male companionship to help her work the place, ``and it wouldn't hurt if he was cute as a cow's ear, either.'' There are no surprises in this version except in the hilarious way the premise plays itself out and in Warhola's delightful visual surprises. When Lurleen tracks the bootless Bubba down, ``Dwayne and Milton and their wicked daddy threw chicken fits.'' Bubba and babe, hair as big as a Texas sun, ride off to a life of happy ranching, and readers will be proud to have been along for the courtship. (Picture book/folklore. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-590-25506-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1997

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more