Books by Salvatore Murdocca

DANCING GRANNY by Elizabeth Winthrop
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2003

A grandmother in purple sneakers and a waltzing bear trip the light fantastic. A determined child coaxes her weary Nana out the door with tales of fleet-footed fauna at the local zoo. There she discovers a bevy of wild creatures impatiently awaiting her arrival. Winthrop's tempo is definitely upbeat, swinging readers along on an exuberant, imaginative journey. She packs the rhyming verses with enough tomfoolery to tickle readers' funny bones: "Six silly monkeys waltzed with her, / the snake curled 'round her shoes. / She danced with each and every one/ to jazz and swing and blues." Murdocca's full-bleed and vibrantly hued watercolor-and-ink illustrations perfectly match the over-the-top tenor of the tale. Granny sashays with a slick alligator nattily attired in a zoot suit and the hippo sports a headdress constructed out of tropical fruit while a beret-clad vulture beats out a tune on the drums. Lighthearted and fun, Winthrop's whimsical tale will set little toes to tapping. (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >
TWO FOR STEW by Laura Numeroff
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

Numeroff (Chimps Don't Wear Glasses, 1995, etc.) and Saltzberg (This is a Great Place for a Hot Dog Stand, 1995, etc.) have concocted a rhyming quest for stew that will elicit giggles and stimulate salivary glands. Hunger for world-famous stew is why a young woman and her poodle have come into a restaurant, but it's the one thing they just can't have; it was devoured earlier by a busload of tourists from Spain. The waiter offers noodles, ham nuggets and peas, and gravy and fish, but his two diners demand stew. As the stew is the creation of the waiter's grandmother, the trio head over to her house, but Grandma is heading out for bowling night. That cold fact puts an end to dreams of stew and changes the nature of their pursuit. The illustrations bop along in sync with the light verse and occasionally expand into full-blown musical sets, complete with a chorus line of dancing chefs. The rhymes and Big Apple setting recall Debra and Sal Barraccas's The Adventures of Taxi Dog (1990), with an airier touch. It's satisfying fare, all except for the microwave ending: Those ravenous would-be diners ignore their hunger pangs to go bowling. (Picture book. 4-8) Read full book review >