"A must for every fairy-tale collection."
Kirkus Reviews, June 2007

Extra! Extra!

Fairy-Tale News from Hidden Forest

Written by ALMA FLOR ADA,
Illustrated by LESLIE TRYON
Atheneum (32pp.)
July 10, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-0689-82582-8

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When the residents of Hidden Forest wake up and open their morning papers, they are in for a surprise.

An enormous beanstalk has mysteriously sprouted outside of Jack Blake's house, and Jack is nowhere to be found. Meanwhile, Pinocchio and Half-Chicken have set out on adventures of their own, and Tortoise and Hare are off to the races. Will they all find their happy endings? Hidden Forest News has got the scoops.

Written and laid out in newspaper format, this installment in the enchanting Hidden Forest series has received a new twist from Alma Flor Ada and Leslie Tryon. All of your favorite fairy-tale characters from Dear Peter Rabbit, Yours Truly, Goldilocks; and With Love, Little Red Hen are back, but this time they are hitting the presses and making headlines!


From Kirkus Reviews , June 15, 2007

Ada's latest is a continuation of the Hidden Forest Series of fairy-tale adventures, but this time, several editions of the Hidden Forest News newspaper replace the letters of the previous books. Subscribers follow many news stories, the most notable being the saga of the mysterious beanstalk and the related disappearance of Jack Blake. Op-ed pieces illustrate the controversy surrounding the beanstalk. Also newsworthy is the closing of Geppetto's toy shop, the beginning of Half-Chicken's journey to Mexico City (both International News) and the intended race between the Tortoise and the Hare (Sports). The "Back Page" lists the advertisements. Readers with a thorough grounding in fairy tales will laugh out loud at the allusions and double entendres that are the hallmark of Ada's writing. Tryon's busy full-color illustrations will keep readers' attention as they search for hidden details. The newspapers themselves are illustrated with small tongue-in-cheek black-and-whites. Teachers of fairy-tale units will love the subtle teaching of newspaper content and layout. A must for every fairy-tale collection. (Picture book. 6-9) Copyright ©2007, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal, August, 2007

"Through articles, opinion pieces, and even sports and international pages, several issues of the Hidden Forest News provide the scoop on Jack and the Beanstalk and report on an Italian toymaker who has gone missing while searching for his puppet/son and a race between a hare and a tortoise. Headlines, columns, and black-and-white spot art tell Jack's tale from a variety of viewpoints. Things are livened up by occasional full-color pages painted in bright watercolors that show Hidden Forest residents producing, delivering, and reading the paper. Fans of the series will find their favorite characters in the articles, editorial bylines, and even the advertisements (Mr. Wolfy Lupus is running a summer camp for children). . ."

Horn Book, September/October, 2007

“Unlike the first three books set in Hidden Forest, this installment forgoes letter-writing (With Love, Little Red Hen, rev. 1/02), instead comprising three issues of the Hidden Forest News (and a two-page extra edition). The paper covers local and international storybook headlines as well as sports, community happenings, and advertisements (touting, for example, the masonry services of Pig Three). Above-the-fold news is dominated by two local stories: the sudden appearance of a giant beanstalk-like plant and concern about the fate of Jack Blake, who traded the family cow for some beans. As with the previous books, the fun is in following familiar characters as they interact with one another and play out their well-known roles. The text-heavy newspaper format doesn’t lend itself to story-hour readings, but there are plenty of clever details in both text and art for readers to enjoy on their own. Tryon’s black-and-white drawings enliven the articles and features; full-page color illustrations between issues show, among other tableaux, Peter Rabbit on his paper route. The concept isn’t new (e.g., Colin and Jacqui Hawkins Fairytale News, rev. 7-04), but for Hidden Forest fans, Extra! Extra! Offers all the fairy-tale news that’s fit to print.”

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