MAKING IT HAPPEN

Ultimately hoist by its own petard, the story starts out knocking revolution for revolution's sake. Not that John Jacobs who's telling it knows it: he's full of himself and his friend Gifford ("the most original person I'd ever met"), and their brilliant brainstorms for showing "how we felt about each other and how we felt about everything else" — i.e., getting attention by faking a fire to fake out the junior high principal, one Perona who asserts authority by calling drills all the time ("What some guys wouldn't do for a sense of power!"). Promptly expelled, John and Gifford and their brand new sidekick Lee, who's black, hole up in a hideout to prove that "We don't let labels or skin or things like that stand in the way of friendship." The fact that Lee's blackness was the essence of his appeal to the duo in the first place is blithely ignored — as is the fact that Dad had John's number a long time ago: "Before you look for shallowness in other people, take a good look at yourself." There's a girl too, the focus of all the confidential, sexy bathroom jokes. It's a matter of taste: bad.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1970

ISBN: 0695801449

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Follett

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1970

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

More gift book than storybook, this is a meaningful addition to nursery bookshelves

MAYBE

A young child explores the unlimited potential inherent in all humans.

“Have you ever wondered why you are here?” asks the second-person narration. There is no one like you. Maybe you’re here to make a difference with your uniqueness; maybe you will speak for those who can’t or use your gifts to shine a light into the darkness. The no-frills, unrhymed narrative encourages readers to follow their hearts and tap into their limitless potential to be anything and do anything. The precisely inked and colored artwork plays with perspective from the first double-page spread, in which the child contemplates a mountain (or maybe an iceberg) in their hands. Later, they stand on a ladder to place white spots on tall, red mushrooms. The oversized flora and fauna seem to symbolize the presumptively insurmountable, reinforcing the book’s message that anything is possible. This quiet read, with its sophisticated central question, encourages children to reach for their untapped potential while reminding them it won’t be easy—they will make messes and mistakes—but the magic within can help overcome falls and failures. It’s unlikely that members of the intended audience have begun to wonder about their life’s purpose, but this life-affirming mood piece has honorable intentions. The child, accompanied by an adorable piglet and sporting overalls and a bird-beaked cap made of leaves, presents white.

More gift book than storybook, this is a meaningful addition to nursery bookshelves . (Picture book. 2-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-946873-75-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: May 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS

With the same delightfully irreverent spirit that he brought to his retelling of "Little Red Riding Hood" (1987), Marshall enlivens another favorite. Although completely retold with his usual pungent wit and contemporary touches ("I don't mind if I do," says Goldilocks, as she tries out porridge, chair, and bed), Marshall retains the stories well-loved pattern, including Goldilocks escaping through the window (whereupon Baby Bear inquires, "Who was that little girl?"). The illustrations are fraught with delicious humor and detail: books that are stacked everywhere around the rather cluttered house, including some used in lieu of a missing leg for Papa Bear's chair; comically exaggerated beds—much too high at the head and the foot; and Baby Bear's wonderfully messy room, which certainly brings the story into the 20th century. Like its predecessor, perfect for several uses, from picture-book hour to beginning reading.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1988

ISBN: 0140563660

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1988

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more