Whether or not readers are swayed by Flood’s enthusiasm for the sport, there is one universal lesson in the rodeo: Pick...



Narrative poems, expository writings and the voice of a lively announcer combine to introduce a sport largely unknown outside of the West: the rodeo.

To many, a rodeo can seem frightening and even cruel. Flood, however, shares the excitement, athleticism and tradition of it all. From the morning, as the arena is set up at sunrise, until night falls and the dust settles, readers are taken on a journey through every rodeo event. The youngest compete in the “woolly rider” category: They sit atop a sheep and hold on for as long as they can. There is also roping, barrel racing, bucking broncos and, of course, riding the big Brahma bull. There is no denying the power of these animals—“hooves scraping dirt, / blocks of muscle / waiting to explode / out the chute”—nor of the riders: “I lean, lean, lean, / get positioned just right, / then split-second leap / on top his shoulders, / hold on to his horns, / crank his neck around / to twist him / down.” Sonnenmair’s quick-snapped action shots show simultaneous struggle and determination on every competitor’s face. Though Flood asserts the importance of the rodeo in Navajo culture, aside from the competitors’ faces (which are worth the price of admission), there is little here to differentiate this rodeo from others.

Whether or not readers are swayed by Flood’s enthusiasm for the sport, there is one universal lesson in the rodeo: Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep trying. Cowboy up! (afterword, resources) (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: March 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-59078-893-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Wordsong/Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2013

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Gross-out fun for aspiring pranksters.



Fuddy-duddies beware: This guide is for jokesters and comedians looking to pull off the perfect practical joke.

Delivering 101 goofy and giggle-inducing stunts, Julian’s handbook begins on a somber note by including a pledge for readers emphasizing the importance of safety, thoughtfulness, and respect. Warnings out of the way, young people are treated to a panoply of pranks wrapped loosely in a narrative by a certain Dr. Crankshaw of SHMOP, or the School of Hijinks, Malarkey & Outlandish Pranks, from mundane acts like crank calls and toothpaste-filled cookies to more clever ideas like recipes for homemade, edible poop (made from cocoa and peanut butter) and fried brain dust disorder (in which one’s brain pretends to disintegrate after too much homework). In addition to practical joke ideas, the author adds many helpful tips about comedic acting, explaining physical comedy, the importance of exaggerated facial expressions, voice modulation, and how to master the perfect pratfall. The pranks are presented with expressive cartoonlike illustrations, advice on preparation (such as necessary ingredients), and enumerated steps for execution. While not all the suggestions seem feasible, there is enough here to intrigue those looking for some silly, DIY entertainment. The illustrations throughout are notable for their inclusivity.

Gross-out fun for aspiring pranksters. (index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 28, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-76844-5

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Odd Dot

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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From snapping shrimp with bubble-shooting claws to the Osedax worm that digests whalebones on the ocean floor, intriguing and unusual sea creatures are introduced in this collection of 18 engaging poems written in a variety of forms. A paragraph or two of identification and explanation follow each poem. This attractive small volume is illustrated with hand-colored linoleum block prints set on a blue-green background that darkens page by page as the reader descends. “Dive In!” introduces the habitat, and, on the last page, “Hooray for the Sea and the ROV” celebrates the ocean and the vehicles humans use to explore its deepest parts. One piece calls for two voices, a leopard sea cucumber and an emperor shrimp. Shape poems introduce the violet snail and a swarm of krill. These poems lend themselves to reading aloud, and many are short and catchy enough to be easily memorized. Concluding with a helpful glossary, a clear explanation of the poetic forms that points out rhymes, patterns and beats, suggested further resources and acknowledgements, this is an ideal title for cross-curricular connections. This gathering of humorous poetry and fascinating facts should be welcomed as a companion to Bulion and Evans’ previous collaboration, Hey There, Stink Bug! (2006)—even the surprise among the school of krill on the endpapers will make readers smile. (Informational poetry. 8-12)

Pub Date: April 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-56145-565-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: April 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2011

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