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Original Essays | September 30, 2014

Brian Doyle: IMG The Rude Burl of Our Masks



One day when I was 12 years old and setting off on my newspaper route after school my mom said will you stop at the doctor's and pick up something... Continue »
  1. $13.27 Sale Trade Paper add to wish list

    Children and Other Wild Animals

    Brian Doyle 9780870717543

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Customer Comments

Klickitat has commented on (13) products.

The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
The Witch of Blackbird Pond

Klickitat, February 13, 2011

First off, not my favorite Newbery. My main issue is that Kit is just too defiant to be either believable or sympathetic. Far be it from me to criticize a sassy heroine but Kit felt more like a transplant from the twentieth century than Barbados. And really? A long suffering, saint-like cripple character? Ack. But, on the positive side, I enjoyed Kit's unconventional contributions to the dame school. And this book did teach me the significance of the name Horn Book Magazine so I thank it for that.

Mary Beth Hurt does a fine job handling the diverse cast of characters' voices. I was going to quibble with her performance of Kit because she came off as a total priss but then I realized, Kit is a total priss, so well played, Madam.
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My Name Is Yoon by Helen Recorvits
My Name Is Yoon

Klickitat, January 28, 2011

After moving to the United States from Korea, Yoon struggles to assimilate into English-speaking culture while retaining her Korean identity. Because Yoon dislikes the way her name looks in English script, she refuses to write it on any of her school papers, preferring to adopt the new identities of "cat," "bird," and "cupcake" instead.

While Yoon will have immediate appeal for ESL students, the search for identity is universal among all children and, therefore, the book has a broad appeal. While the subject matter will appeal most to early elementary school students (who are learning to write themselves), the text is too sophisticated for the audience's reading level. Ideally, the book would be read aloud by an adult to no more than three children at a time so the detailed illustrations can be appreciated by everyone.
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(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)



Binky the Space Cat (Binky Adventure) by Ashley Spires
Binky the Space Cat (Binky Adventure)

Klickitat, January 28, 2011

Binky is an ordinary Canadian housecat - but don't tell him that! He believes he is a "space cat," duty bound to defeat the alien race (otherwise known as bugs to us naïve humans.)

Spires created a fun and humorous graphic novel targeted at older elementary students, as well as adults. The illustrations carry the bulk of the narrative so this title might be enjoyable to pre-readers as well. Cat lovers are an obvious audience but this title will appeal to anyone who has wondered why animals do the crazy things they do.

The sequel, Binky to the Rescue, published in 2010, is also strong.
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)



Ballet for Martha: Making Appalachian Spring by Jan Greenberg
Ballet for Martha: Making Appalachian Spring

Klickitat, January 28, 2011

Ballet for Martha shares the story of how dancer Martha Graham, composer Aaron Copland, and architect Isamu Noguchi collaborated to create the renowned dance performance, Appalachian Spring. Readers encounter the entire process of creating Appalachian Spring, from its origins in Graham's imagination, to its adaptation and expansion in light of Copland's completed score and Noguchi's set design, to the night of the first performance. Greenberg doesn't shy away from portraying collaboration and the process of creating art as difficult. We learn that all of the artists involved in the project struggled to bring the project to life. Despite being 2-D and static, Floca's excellent water color illustrations manage to capture the exuberance of the original performance. Source notes, a bibliography, and biographies of Graham, Copland, and Noguchi are presented at the book's end. An excellent introduction to Appalachian Spring as well as the careers of three indispensable American artists.
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Knights of the Kitchen Table by Jon Scieszka
Knights of the Kitchen Table

Klickitat, January 28, 2011

When his Uncle gives him a magical book for his birthday, Joe and his two best friends are transported back in time, where they encounter the knights of the round table, a giant, the famous sorcerer Merlin, and a dragon. This fast paced transitional chapter book is thematically similar to Mary Pope Osborne's Magic Treehouse and should appeal to fans of that series. This first book in the series ends satisfactorily but whets the readers' appetite for the sequels. The book's short length and generously spaced text lay-out are perfect for the intended age level. Lane Smith's exaggerated, art deco reminiscent illustrations add interest and often help inform the text. Especially recommended for reluctant male readers in 3rd to 5th grade who should appreciate Scieszka's conversational and authentic "guy" voice.
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