YIKES!

IN SEVEN WILD ADVENTURES, WHO WOULD YOU BE?

The cast of characters in this deliberately silly book is large, introduced by Lester (My Farm, 1994, etc.) in seven singsong poems. She creates scenarios, set in the circus, the jungle, Transylvania, the high seas, a snowy forest, deep space, and the Wild West, and peoples them with characters such as Blood and Guts McCoy and Missing Toes O'Reilly before asking readers ``. . . who would you be?'' A turn of the page reveals the fate of each character, and an epilogue expands on those endings and brings this rollicking roll call to a close. Clever allusions to old movies and stories make stock characterizations familiar but slightly askew, perfectly rendered colorful drawings; the broad sweep of the book makes it ideal for repeat readings or for classroom performances. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-395-71252-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1995

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TO MARKET, TO MARKET

A marketing trip from Miranda (Glad Monster, Sad Monster, p. 1309) that jiggity jigs off in time-honored nursery-rhyme fashion, but almost immediately derails into well-charted chaos. The foodstuffs—the fat pig, the red hen, the plump goose, the pea pods, peppers, garlic, and spice—are wholly reasonable in light of the author's mention of shopping at traditional Spanish mercados, which stock live animals and vegetables. Stevens transfers the action to a standard American supermarket and a standard American kitchen, bringing hilarity to scenes that combine acrylics, oil pastels, and colored pencil with photo and fabric collage elements. The result is increasing frazzlement for the shopper, an older woman wearing spectacles, hat, and purple pumps (one of which is consumed by her groceries). It's back to market one last time for ingredients for the hot vegetable soup she prepares for the whole bunch. True, her kitchen's trashed and she probably won't find a welcome mat at her supermarket hereafter, but all's well that ends well—at least while the soup's on. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-15-200035-6

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1997

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COME ON, RAIN!

Hesse (Just Juice, p. 1600, etc.) hits some high notes in this story of parched summer days in the city. Young Tess watches as her mother tends to her woeful wilting vegetable patch; the heat is enveloping. Tess, from her perch on the fire escape, scans the sky in hopes of deliverance, and sure enough, those are rain clouds she spies. When the clouds break, everyone steps joyfully to the rain dance. Hesse’s language is a quiet, elegant surge—“ ‘Rain’s coming, Mamma,’ I say. Mamma turns to the window and sniffs. ‘It’s about time,’ she murmurs,” but it can become ornate (“trinkets of silver rain” and music that “streaks like night lightning”) and jarring amid the contained beauty of the rest of the writing. Muth contributes fine watercolor atmospherics, in sultry summer scenes where the heat is almost palpable, and raucous wet scenes of jubilant dancers. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-590-33125-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 1998

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