CHRISTMAS EVE AT SANTA'S

Carpenter Anderson has just put on his Santa suit to deliver gifts to his children when he slips on the ice and bumps into another man with a beard, a red cap, and a sled full of toys. It's the real Santa, who suggests they trade places: he'll take presents to Anderson's children if the carpenter will make things for his children. So Anderson does; he even carves a new wooden spoon for Mrs. Santa. Effecting the reversal prompts some comical banter; in the end, though Santa's children are delighted to see their first real carpenter, and Anderson's are sure they've been visited by Daddy in disguise. With lively, affectionately satirical illustrations, this merry Swedish import makes a novel and amusing addition to the Christmas shelf. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 23, 1992

ISBN: 91-29-62066-X

Page Count: 32

Publisher: R&S/Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1992

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An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way.

NOAH CHASES THE WIND

A young boy sees things a little differently than others.

Noah can see patterns in the dust when it sparkles in the sunlight. And if he puts his nose to the ground, he can smell the “green tang of the ants in the grass.” His most favorite thing of all, however, is to read. Noah has endless curiosity about how and why things work. Books open the door to those answers. But there is one question the books do not explain. When the wind comes whistling by, where does it go? Noah decides to find out. In a chase that has a slight element of danger—wind, after all, is unpredictable—Noah runs down streets, across bridges, near a highway, until the wind lifts him off his feet. Cowman’s gusty wisps show each stream of air turning a different jewel tone, swirling all around. The ribbons gently bring Noah home, setting him down under the same thinking tree where he began. Did it really happen? Worthington’s sensitive exploration leaves readers with their own set of questions and perhaps gratitude for all types of perspective. An author’s note mentions children on the autism spectrum but widens to include all who feel a little different.

An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-60554-356-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Redleaf Lane

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

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JAMIE O'ROURKE AND THE BIG POTATO

AN IRISH FOLKTALE

Lazy Jamie O'Rourke doesn't lift a finger, even after his wife hurts her hack digging the "praties" they depend on; but he does catch a leprechaun, who gives him a seed that grows into a potato so large that it takes the combined efforts of the village to dig it and, subsequently, to eat it—"until no one wanted to see or hear of potato again." DePaola's "Note About the Story" tells more of his own family history than of "the short tale that inspired" this one, which is totally unsourced; presumably, it predates the tragedy of the Potato Famine. Anyway, as retold here, it makes a cheery picture book, with the artist using the lighter, brighter side of his palette and including some affectionate caricatures of the Irish in his decorative illustrations. Attractive and amusing. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 20, 1992

ISBN: 0-399-22257-X

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 1991

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