Unfortunately, this does not salvage the tale. Better choices abound, such as Marjorie Blain Parker and R.W. Alley’s When...

READ REVIEW

DADDIES DO IT DIFFERENT

Readers are in for a predictable, stereotypical comparison of how this particular mother and father differ in how they interact with their winsome daughter.

The text follows a strict pattern, stating what Mommy typically does and following with how “daddies do it different,” even though there is only one daddy/mommy pair depicted. Mommy is usually pleasant and proper and gets things done: “When Mommy feeds me breakfast…. I sit nicely at the table, munch a piece of toast….” Daddy indulges in somewhat foolish behavior: “We make a fort with waffles, get syrup on the dog, and eat cereal straight out of the box!” (Mommies sharing this with their children will wonder who gets to wash the dog.) Carter ably paints the contrasting scenes in what appears to be watercolor. Most of these dichotomies make logical sense. Mommy teaches her daughter to make sauces while Daddy gives a lesson on how to juggle eggs and so on. But some are less successful: “When Mommy gets her nails done, I sometimes get mine painted, too. When Daddy watches Sunday sports, I sometimes see him cry.” But on the last spreads mom and dad each tuck their daughter in, give her a kiss and tell her how much she is loved in “the exact same way.”

Unfortunately, this does not salvage the tale. Better choices abound, such as Marjorie Blain Parker and R.W. Alley’s When Dads Don’t Grow Up (2012) and Stephen Cook’s Day Out with Daddy (2006). (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 17, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4231-3315-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

THE GRUFFALO

The action of this rhymed and humorous tale centers upon a mouse who "took a stroll/through the deep dark wood./A fox saw the mouse/and the mouse looked good." The mouse escapes being eaten by telling the fox that he is on his way to meet his friend the gruffalo (a monster of his imagination), whose favorite food is roasted fox. The fox beats a hasty retreat. Similar escapes are in store for an owl and a snake; both hightail it when they learn the particulars: tusks, claws, terrible jaws, eyes orange, tongue black, purple prickles on its back. When the gruffalo suddenly materializes out of the mouse's head and into the forest, the mouse has to think quick, declaring himself inedible as the "scariest creature in the deep dark wood," and inviting the gruffalo to follow him to witness the effect he has on the other creatures. When the gruffalo hears that the mouse's favorite food is gruffalo crumble, he runs away. It's a fairly innocuous tale, with twists that aren't sharp enough and treachery that has no punch. Scheffler's funny scenes prevent the suspense from culminating; all his creatures, predator and prey, are downright lovable. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: June 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-8037-2386-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1999

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

PRINCESSES WEAR PANTS

This book wants to be feminist.

Princess Penelope Pineapple, illustrated as a white girl with dark hair and eyes, is the Amelia Bloomer of the Pineapple Kingdom. She has dresses, but she prefers to wear pants as she engages in myriad activities ranging from yoga to gardening, from piloting a plane to hosting a science fair. When it’s time for the Pineapple Ball, she imagines wearing a sparkly pants outfit, but she worries about Grand Lady Busyboots’ disapproval: “ ‘Pants have no place on a lady!’ she’d say. / ‘That’s how it has been, and that’s how it shall stay.’ ” In a moment of seeming dissonance between the text and art, Penny seems to resolve to wear pants, but then she shows up to the ball in a gown. This apparent contradiction is resolved when the family cat, Miss Fussywiggles, falls from the castle into the moat and Princess Penelope saves her—after stripping off her gown to reveal pink, flowered swimming trunks and a matching top. Impressed, Grand Lady Busyboots resolves that princesses can henceforth wear whatever they wish. While seeing a princess as savior rather than damsel in distress may still seem novel, it seems a stretch to cast pants-wearing as a broadly contested contemporary American feminist issue. Guthrie and Oppenheim’s unimaginative, singsong rhyme is matched in subtlety by Byrne’s bright illustrations.

Skip it . (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4197-2603-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more