Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyDespite sprightly illustrations, Hayes's (This Is the Bear) slight story about "Finders" is not itself a keeper. The book looks bright, with action-filled compositions in arresting colors. But the dynamic world of the art dims when joined with the bland text. Lucy Anna, off searching for her lost little red horse, stumbles on a pair of Finders--big, striped creatures that tell her, "We're hungry. We're going to eat you up." The girl stalls by interesting them first in a game of ninepins and then in other diversions. She and her horse finally escape when she suggests that they play hide-and-seek, and the foolish Finders go "on hiding and hiding. And no one ever [finds] them." With their elephant toes, anteater noses and ponytail topknots, the Finders are more goofy than menacing, but they are not believable even within the bounds of the story's imagined world. Insufficiently developed, Lucy Anna and her plight do not engage readers' emotions. Ages 5-7. (Nov.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Children's LiteratureInspired by a tiny painted horse in her workroom, Sarah Hayes created this story about a little girl named Lucy whose horse is taken by the Finders. The Finders like to take things that do not belong to them. When Lucy discovered her horse is missing, she marches into the woods to trick the Finders and get her horse back. After playing a game of ninepins, making a necklace, and eating nuts from her backpack, the Finders tell Lucy that they want to eat her. She and her horse run away and hide in the woods but the Finder's soon locate them. Lucy has a plan to trick the Finders. She tells them it is their turn to hide, and she will be the Finder. The plan works, and Lucy and her horse safely return home. The bright pictures are a delight. 2000, Candlewick Press, $15.99. Ages 4 to 8. Reviewer: Nicole Peterson
School Library Journal - School Library JournalK-Gr 1-In this modern-day fairy tale, two Finders (striped elephantlike creatures) come from the woods near Lucy Anna's house, find her red toy horse, and take it with them. The child sets out to get it back, outwitting the Finders at every turn to achieve her goal. The stylized cartoon artwork set against broad expanses of color is bright and cheerful. Lucy's red hair, her vibrant red tennis shoes, and the red horse all contribute to the book's visual appeal. A simple, mildly scary story with a self-reliant protagonist.-JoAnn Jonas, Carlsbad City Library, San Diego, CA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus ReviewsLucy Anna fills her backpack with an apple, nine pine cones, a few whirligigs, and some nuts and ventures out into the forest to retrieve her stolen little red horse. She challenges"The Finders," who not only stole her horse but also threaten to eat her. This original fairy tale pits a spunky young girl against two enormous stuffed-animaltype creatures who like to play but whose main desire is to make a good meal out of her. Bravely, Lucy Anna outsmarts the monsters and rides her beloved horse home safely. Hayes's bold, colored-ink illustrations cover each two-page spread with action. Bigger than life-size creatures, somewhat silly, but just a little scary, confront the heroine in their fantasy forest lair. Little details like the toaster on the forest floor, a favorite clock under one of the Finder's arms, a trumpet snuggling into a crook of a tree, testament to their"findings," add interest and humor to the scenes. A pleasant story, a feisty heroine, and a good read-aloud. (Picture book. 5-7)
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