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Janet Morgan Stoeke is the creator of the hen Minerva Louise, who has appeared in many books. She lives in Alexandria, Virginia.Visit her website at http: //www.minervalouise.com
First things first: the eponymous hen, introduced in the 1988 book bearing her name, is a paragon of whimsy and charm. In a manner reminiscent of Charles Schulz's deceptively simple renderings of Snoopy, Stoeke invests her poultry protagonist with an abundance of character at the merest stroke of her pen. Here, the intrepid Minerva Louise ventures out of the henhouse on a crisp winter morning-``She wanted to stay out all day. But it was too cold.'' The search for suitable gear leads to several amusing cases of mistaken identity, until a pair of mittens is put to an ingenious (and thoroughly droll) use. As in the earlier book, Stoeke's colors are strong and clear, her shapes cleanly outlined and her text straightforward yet expressive. Hats off! Ages 2-6. (Sept.)
PreS-Gr 1-Minerva Louise, a white hen, likes snowy mornings. She wants to stay outside all day, but it's too cold. So, she goes looking for something warm to wear. After trying several inappropriate items (a flowerpot, a garden hose, etc.), she finds two mittens that make a fitting hat for her head...and for her tail. The illustrations, concentrating on basic shapes outlined in black with flat colors and limited details, complement the text. Despite this simplicity, Minerva Louise expresses a range of emotions from pleasure to curiosity, ending with a self-satisfied strut as she wears her mittens fore and aft. A great choice for story time.-Karen James, Louisville Free Public Library, KY