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Published in Print: April 1, 2000, as Noteworthy

Noteworthy

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THE TWO BULLIES, by Junko Morimoto. (Crown, $17; grades K-2.) Morimoto, a Japanese writer and illustrator, gives us a witty tale of two enormous strongmen—one from Japan, the other from China—each itching to prove that he can beat up the other. Big on bluster but short on brains, the two bullies scare each other away before their face-off. The story, adapted and translated from a Japanese tale, will grab kids' attention, but be warned: Morimoto's hilarious watercolors will have them rolling in the aisles. This little volume won picture-book-of-the-year honors in Australia, where the author lives.

THE TWO BULLIES,by Junko Morimoto. (Crown, $17; grades K-2.)

by Peter McCarty. (Henry Holt, $15.95; kindergarten.) With spare, lilting text and luminous illustrations made from pencil and a touch of watercolor, McCarty has accomplished something just short of a miracle: He has created a standout bunny book, one that's warm and cute but not the least bit sappy. And it has a gentle message, to boot—it lets young readers know that even cute white rabbits are wild at heart.LITTLE BUNNY ON THE MOVE,by Peter McCarty. (Henry Holt, $15.95; kindergarten.)has accomplished something just short of a miracle: He has created a standout bunny book, one that's warm and cute but not the least bit sappy. And it has a gentle message, to boot—it lets young readers know that even cute white rabbits are wild at heart.

by Edward Bloor. (Harcourt Brace, $17; young adult.) Ever since her mother's brutal murder seven years ago, 15-year-old Roberta has shut out everything but her deadening routine of work and school. She emerges from this emotional coma only when the clues to a series of hate crimes point to the virtual-reality arcade owned by her father and uncle. Investigating, Roberta finds heroes and villains where she least expects them and, eventually, solves the deeper and more painful mystery of her mother's death. Bloor, a former middle and high school teacher, writes with a fine eye for the details of teenagers' lives and feelings.CRUSADER,by Edward Bloor. (Harcourt Brace, $17; young adult.) by Elizabeth Spires, with illustrations by Claire A. Nivola. (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, $15; grades 2-5.) Before Emmaline, a white mouse, meets Emily Dickinson, she is "nothing more than a crumb gatherer, a cheese nibbler, a mouse-of-little-purpose." This changes when she moves into the Dickinson residence and makes her home in a pleasant room in the wainscoting of the writer's quiet upstairs bedroom. At first, Emmaline is fascinated but mystified by Dickinson's constant scribbling. Then one day a gust of wind deposits a scrap of paper at her door, and she finds herself so moved by Dickinson's poetry that she begins to write herself—discovering her own voice and deepest feelings in the process. This delightful, brief work is a deft and touching introduction to Dickinson and her poetry. But more than that, it is a testament to the power of words to change a life.The Mouse of Amherst, by Elizabeth Spires, with illustrations by Claire A. Nivola. (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, $15; grades 2-5.) by Susan Cooper. (McElderry Books, $16; grades 5 and up.) Sad Nat Field lost both parents before his 11th birthday. But he has found some solace in acting and the American Company of Boys, a troupe handpicked by a renowned director to perform A Midsummer Night's Dream at the new Globe Theater in London. One night after rehearsals, Nat goes to bed feeling ill—and wakes up in 1599, as a member of Shakespeare's own company where he plays Puck opposite the Bard himself in the original production of the play. Cooper's story is so fully realized that the reader does not simply suspend disbelief—he desperately wants this tale of the healing power of love to be true.KING OF SHADOWS,by Susan Cooper. (McElderry Books, $16; grades 5 and up.)

BLANCA'S FEATHER,by Antonio Hernandez Madrigal, with illustrations by Gerardo Suzan. (Rising Moon, $15.95; grades K-2.)BLAKE HUME RODMAN AND STEPHEN DEL VECCHIO

Vol. 11, Issue 7, Page 68

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