KNOW WHAT I SAW?

A cheerful pigtailed girl leads readers through a descending series of baby animals in an upbeat treatment of a verse from the late Fisher. In introducing each animal, the narrator asks, “Know what I saw,” and then answers herself, ten collie puppies giving way to nine chicks, eight baby deer mice, and so on, down to the narrator’s new pup of her own. The lilting rhymes, peppered with the occasional startling image, are well suited to the overall theme, the universal allure of the cute and fuzzy. DeSaix’s photorealistic oils make the most of this, each adorable clutch of babies leading to the next in a fashion guaranteed to provoke “Awwwwwws” with every turn of the page. The illustrations do not, however, exploit the implied audience the narrator addresses, and thereby leach some of the subtlety from the poem. When the narrator shifts, in the last stanza, from “Know what I saw,” to “Know what I thought,” there is ambiguity: Will the child get the puppy she wants? The illustrations provide the puppy and a somewhat too-easy resolution, which, if emotionally satisfying for readers, nevertheless lacks resonance. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2005

ISBN: 1-59643-055-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2005

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

SAY HELLO!

Today Carmelita visits her Abuela Rosa, but to get there she must walk. Down Ninth Avenue she strolls with her mother and dog. Colorful shops and congenial neighbors greet them along the way, and at each stop Carmelita says hello—in Spanish, Arabic, Hebrew and more. With a friendly “Jambo” for Joseph, a “Bonjour” at the bakery and an affectionate “Hey” for Max and Angel, the pig-tailed girl happily exercises her burgeoning multilingual skills. Her world is a vibrant community, where neighborliness, camaraderie and culture are celebrated. Isadora’s collaged artwork, reminiscent of Ezra Jack Keats, contains lovely edges and imperfections, which abet the feeling of an urban environment. Skillfully, she draws with her scissors, the cut-paper elements acting as her line work. Everything has a texture and surface, and with almost no solid colors, the city street is realized as a real, organic place. Readers will fall for the sociable Carmelita as they proudly learn a range of salutations, and the artist’s rich environment, packed with hidden details and charming animals, will delight readers with each return visit. Simply enchanting. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: April 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-399-25230-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Dec. 23, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2010

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

SKELETON HICCUPS

Who hasn’t shared the aggravation of a whole day’s worth of bone-rattling hiccups? Poor Skeleton wakes up with a deadly case that he can’t shake, and it’s up to his friend Ghost to think of something to scare them away. Cuyler (Stop, Drop, and Roll, 2001, etc.) cleverly brings readers through the ups and downs of Skeleton’s day, from shower to ball-playing. Home folk remedies (holding his breath, eating sugar) don’t seem to work, but Ghost applies a new perspective startling enough to unhinge listeners and Skeleton alike. While the concept is clever, it’s Schindler’s (How Santa Lost His Job, 2001, etc.) paintings, done with gouache, ink, and watercolor, that carry the day, showing Skeleton’s own unique problems—water pours out of his hollow eyes when he drinks it upside down, his teeth spin out of his head when he brushes them—that make a joke of the circumstances. Oversized spreads open the scene to read-aloud audiences, but hold intimate details for sharp eyes—monster slippers, sugar streaming through the hollow body. For all the hiccupping, this outing has a quiet feel not up to the standards of some of Cuyler’s earlier books, but the right audience will enjoy its fun. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2002

ISBN: 0-689-84770-X

Page Count: 32

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2002

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more