by L. Leslie--Illus. Brooke ‧ RELEASE DATE: Nov. 1, 1987
Kirkus does not ordinarily review reprints; this exception may be taken as a statement that the editor feels compelled to make. The two books here, reduced to Peter Rabbit size in emulation of the publisher's greatest success, were originally four times as large (8""x10""). Brooke was a master draftsman, in Caldecott's tradition: his comic interpretations of Mother Goose and these nursery tales have never been surpassed, and perceptive parents have recognized them as perfect lap-books for the very young. This Ring O'Roses, however, lacks six of the original 21 rhymes, including not only the somewhat dated ""Simple Simon"" and the little man with a gun but the charming, relatively unfamiliar ""There Was a Man and He Had Naught,"" and ""Wee Willie Winkie,"" Brooke's concluding bedtime chant. The marvelous drawings are reproduced in a size too small for immature eyes to read; the generous blank pages that allowed meditation on a completed sequence (there are several drawings extending the meaning of each rhyme) are missing, resulting in illogical juxtapositions of facing pages. The title story in The Golden Goose and ""Tom Thumb"" are missing. Text for ""The Three Little Pigs"" and ""The Three Bean"" is intact (two pigs get eaten here), but the wonderfully expansive pictures that draw the reader into a comfortable fantasy world lose even more in the reduction, and the color reproduction is garish. The bears arrive upstairs after they investigate the bedroom, and the last two drawings have been omitted. This sad remnant is better than nothing; but the full-size edition is indispensable, irreplaceable, and to be mourned as a beloved member of the family.
Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1987
Page Count: 64
Publisher: Warne--dist. by Viking
Review Posted Online: N/A
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1987
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