Books by Philomena O’Neill

DANCE ME, DADDY by Cindy Morgan
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 1, 2009

Songwriter Morgan adapts her "King of the World" (sung by evangelical ensemble Point of Grace on an accompanying CD) with limited success. The vaguely Latina-looking, curly-haired moppet in O'Neill's unremarkable watercolors is the very picture of her daddy; her blond mother looks on benevolently as dad and daughter frolic lovingly from her toddlerhood to the birth of her own curly-haired daughter. The song's refrain ("There's nothing better than being your girl. / If I am your princess, then you are king of the world") is rendered more or less as sung, in rhyme, but the linking verses appear in an uneasy prosified verse, making for a difficult read-aloud. Like Love You Forever, this sentimental picture book is likely to appeal more to parents than children. (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >
EQUAL SHMEQUAL by Virginia Kroll
ANIMALS
Released: July 1, 2005

Forest animals learn the many meanings of "equal" through a game of tug-of-war. Mouse initiates the game with Bear, but then realizes that he forgot the important rule of equal teams. As more animals join in, they debate about how to divide evenly and test their ideas. Meat versus plant eaters doesn't work, nor does furry versus not furry or even halves, since they are different sizes. Bear's response to it all? "Equal Shmequal." Gradually the animals learn that just because the numbers are equal does not mean the teams are equal. Mouse's solution is to equalize the weights, using a seesaw to balance the teams. When Bear and Mouse pull against Turtle, Rabbit, Bobcat, Wolf and Deer, neither side moves—until Bear gets distracted. Moral: "What really matters is equal effort." A final note tells readers "what it means to be equal" in math, art, law and team sports. Detailed watercolor illustrations clearly show readers what is equal and what is not, especially as the animals fail at their early efforts. A cute look at what can be a difficult concept. (Picture book. 4-7)Read full book review >