SHILOH SEASON

From the Shiloh Quartet series , Vol. 2

Seeing Judd Travers illegally shoot a deer gave Marty Preston the leverage he needed to win ownership of an abused dog in Naylor's Shiloh (1991); now Judd has taken to drink and become even more trigger-happy than before, and Marty frets that the man will declare open season on Shiloh out of spite. After homily-heavy conversations with his dad—the wise local doctor and a veterinarian—Marty tries to understand why Judd is so vicious (it's close to parody: Travers speaks almost entirely in wild threats, and Marty sees him wing a squirrel and watch it slowly die) as he explores his own feelings, looking for something better than simple hatred. When Travers suffers a serious—but thanks to Shiloh, not fatal—accident, Marty makes peace with him at last through persistent acts of kindness. The story's focus blurs during repeated discussions of the difference between truth and rumor, and in a series of secondhand reports on a senile grandparent's exploits; the dialogue sounds right out of made-for-TV movies. Still, readers will find Marty's anxiety, and his love for Shiloh, engrossingly genuine. (Fiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-689-80647-7

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1996

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DORY STORY

Who is next in the ocean food chain? Pallotta has a surprising answer in this picture book glimpse of one curious boy. Danny, fascinated by plankton, takes his dory and rows out into the ocean, where he sees shrimp eating those plankton, fish sand eels eating shrimp, mackerel eating fish sand eels, bluefish chasing mackerel, tuna after bluefish, and killer whales after tuna. When an enormous humpbacked whale arrives on the scene, Danny’s dory tips over and he has to swim for a large rock or become—he worries’someone’s lunch. Surreal acrylic illustrations in vivid blues and red extend the story of a small boy, a small boat, and a vast ocean, in which the laws of the food chain are paramount. That the boy has been bathtub-bound during this entire imaginative foray doesn’t diminish the suspense, and the facts Pallotta presents are solidly researched. A charming fish tale about the one—the boy—that got away. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-88106-075-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2000

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A colorful cast in which even the ferocious Silversides comes in for a dash or two of sympathy, plus a plot replete with, of...

RAGWEED

A TALE FROM DIMWOOD FOREST

From the Poppy series , Vol. 1

Avi elaborates on the “city mouse, country mouse” theme in this rousing prequel to Poppy (1995), starring Poppy’s ill-fated beau.

Impelled by wanderlust to hop a train to who-knows-where, Ragweed ends up in the rundown part of Amperville, where the local mice (all named after car parts) are being terrorized by Felines Enraged About Rodents (F.E.A.R.), a two-cat extermination squad led by evil-tempered Silversides. After several brushes with death, Ragweed defiantly teams up with Clutch, green-furred lead guitarist for the B-Flat Tires, to open a dance club for mice only, then in the climax organizes a devastating counterattack that sends F.E.A.R. scurrying out of town. In the end, though, Ragweed opts for the country life (little knowing that it’s going to be sweet but short).

A colorful cast in which even the ferocious Silversides comes in for a dash or two of sympathy, plus a plot replete with, of course, narrow squeaks will keep readers turning the pages, while Floca’s scenes of tiny mice fleeing looming, toothy predators add more than a touch of drama .(Fiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: May 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-380-97690-0

Page Count: 178

Publisher: Avon/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1999

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