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Grade 3-5.Kona, an earnest Labrador retriever; Gwendolyn, a wise hermit crab who has been reincarnated 17 times; Murray, a loopy, Chinese leftover-eating bat; and Stumpy, a squirrel, come together during a terrible ice storm in Gooseberry Park to save Stumpy's three babies. Rylant's spare prose results in a trim tale. She does a beautiful job of creating the players, deftly drawing personalities. Murray, in particular, with his occasional snide remarks, is charming. From the humour, especially the wordplay and sarcasm, the book appears to be intended for the older elementary-school crowd, though the annoyingly smug tone of the omniscient narrator, particularly in the first chapter, might put them off. The plot holds together well, even though the oblivion of Kona's absent-minded master, Professor Albert, stretches it a trifle thin. If readers can get past the first few chapters, they will find a story they will want to finish. Howard's appealing black-and-white cartoons appear throughout..Patricia A. Dollisch, DeKalb County Public Library, Decatur, GA
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
CYNTHIA RYLANT is the acclaimed author of more than a hundred books for young people, and her novel Missing May received the Newbery Medal. She lives in Lake Oswego, Oregon. ARTHUR HOWARD is the illustrator of the Mr. Putter & Tabby series by Cynthia Rylant and the Bubba and Beau series by Kathi Appelt. He has also written and illustrated five picture books of his own. He lives in New York City.
[set star] "First-rate entertainment. Readers will relish every moment of this impeccably paced fantasy."--"Publishers Weekly" (starred) "Sophisticated and funny . . . A tender tale delivered by a sure hand."--"Kirkus Reviews" -First-rate entertainment. Readers will relish every moment of this impeccably paced fantasy and its winning depictions of the unique perspectives and quandaries of four unlikely companions.---Publishers Weekly, starred review-Sophisticated and funny . . . A tender tale delivered by a sure hand.---Kirkus Reviews "First-rate entertainment. Readers will relish every moment of this impeccably paced fantasy and its winning depictions of the unique perspectives and quandaries of four unlikely companions."--Publishers Weekly, starred review"Sophisticated and funny . . . A tender tale delivered by a sure hand."--Kirkus Reviews