MRS. PIGGLE-WIGGLE

The author of The Egg and I has established a reputation as a topnotch story teller, so why shouldn't she be a "natural" when it comes to entertaining children- her own and others- with entrancing tales. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle is a woman of talent. She knows how to make bad children good, and her amusing "cures" for common children's misdemeanors are very delightful sugar- coating to "how-to-be-good-little-girls-and-boys". Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle likes to have children dig for treasure among her petunias, try on her high heeled shoes, eat her goodies, play pirate (her husband was a pirate, you see). She has so many delightful customs it really is no wonder the children adore her. And it is a tribute to the author's skill that though these are undeniably tales with morals, the results are so hilarious and good-humored, the caricature so safe and unmalicious, that children and adults will laugh rather more than they learn, and learn more than they will admit. I shouldn't be surprised if Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle is here to stay. But I hope the next book won't be illustrated by Richard Bennett, who has a sort of grimness and datedness about his pictures that are out of key with the text.

Pub Date: March 26, 1947

ISBN: 0064401480

Page Count: 148

Publisher: Lippincott

Review Posted Online: May 2, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1947

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Inspiration, shrink wrapped.

WHAT THE ROAD SAID

From an artist, poet, and Instagram celebrity, a pep talk for all who question where a new road might lead.

Opening by asking readers, “Have you ever wanted to go in a different direction,” the unnamed narrator describes having such a feeling and then witnessing the appearance of a new road “almost as if it were magic.” “Where do you lead?” the narrator asks. The Road’s twice-iterated response—“Be a leader and find out”—bookends a dialogue in which a traveler’s anxieties are answered by platitudes. “What if I fall?” worries the narrator in a stylized, faux hand-lettered type Wade’s Instagram followers will recognize. The Road’s dialogue and the narration are set in a chunky, sans-serif type with no quotation marks, so the one flows into the other confusingly. “Everyone falls at some point, said the Road. / But I will always be there when you land.” Narrator: “What if the world around us is filled with hate?” Road: “Lead it to love.” Narrator: “What if I feel stuck?” Road: “Keep going.” De Moyencourt illustrates this colloquy with luminous scenes of a small, brown-skinned child, face turned away from viewers so all they see is a mop of blond curls. The child steps into an urban mural, walks along a winding country road through broad rural landscapes and scary woods, climbs a rugged metaphorical mountain, then comes to stand at last, Little Prince–like, on a tiny blue and green planet. Wade’s closing claim that her message isn’t meant just for children is likely superfluous…in fact, forget the just.

Inspiration, shrink wrapped. (Picture book. 6-8, adult)

Pub Date: March 23, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-26949-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2021

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Wonderful, indeed

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THE WONDERFUL THINGS YOU WILL BE

A GROWING-UP POEM

A love song to baby with delightful illustrations to boot.

Sweet but not saccharine and singsong but not forced, Martin’s text is one that will invite rereadings as it affirms parental wishes for children while admirably keeping child readers at its heart. The lines that read “This is the first time / There’s ever been you, / So I wonder what wonderful things / You will do” capture the essence of the picture book and are accompanied by a diverse group of babies and toddlers clad in downright adorable outfits. Other spreads include older kids, too, and pictures expand on the open text to visually interpret the myriad possibilities and hopes for the depicted children. For example, a spread reading “Will you learn how to fly / To find the best view?” shows a bespectacled, school-aged girl on a swing soaring through an empty white background. This is just one spread in which Martin’s fearless embrace of the white of the page serves her well. Throughout the book, she maintains a keen balance of layout choices, and surprising details—zebras on the wallpaper behind a father cradling his child, a rock-’n’-roll band of mice paralleling the children’s own band called “The Missing Teeth”—add visual interest and gentle humor. An ideal title for the baby-shower gift bag and for any nursery bookshelf or lap-sit storytime.

Wonderful, indeed . (Picture book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Aug. 25, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-37671-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 6, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2015

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