PUMPKIN DAY, PUMPKIN NIGHT

paper 0-8027-8697 Rockwell’s story of a young boy searching for the perfect pumpkin is more of a meditation than a story to evoke the spirit of a season. A boy is in pursuit of the perfect pumpkin: “big and round and orange as a setting sun.” At the farmer’s market he searches until he discovers just the right one, which had rolled off to one side: “I think it was waiting there just for me.” He takes it home and then, with his mother handling the knife, they craft a fine jack-o’-lantern that glows mysteriously in the night. Halsey’s pretty paper sculptures give the story visual snap, with their intriguing shadow play and sharp relief. Rockwell’s occasional stabs at seasonal atmospherics—the smell of pumpkins baking (the mother has bought ten little ones for a pie), apples ripening, the turning leaves—only falteringly conjure an autumnal mood. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-8027-8696-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Walker

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1999

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

WHERE DOES JOE GO?

A sprightly set of illustrations from the always inventive Pearson (The Purple Hat, 1997, etc.) offer hints on one of the biggest mysteries of the ages—Saint Nick’s summer job. Joe comes to town each spring to open up Joe’s Snack Bar, selling hot dogs, ice cream, and fries to an enthusiastic and varied summertime public. Every fall, he disappears, and folks wonder where he goes. Breaking into rhyme, the townspeople offer various scenarios: “ ‘He’s gone to the moon!’/cried tiny June,” or having tea with the queen, “whispered Molly McLeen” or off to the pyramids, “yelled all the Biddy kids.” Each spread is full of friendly colors and the wiggly details of people, places, and cats. Joe and his trademark food items appear in each, too, with nibbles tossed to the alligators in Okefenokee or the dolphins from a cruise ship. Joe returns, of course, the following spring, red-checked, round-bellied, and with a full white beard. Just in case readers still don’t know how he spends the winters, the last, wordless page offers a can’t-miss clue, and the reindeer like ice cream, too. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 19, 1999

ISBN: 0-374-38319-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1999

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

MOUSE'S FIRST CHRISTMAS

Mouse’s First Christmas (32 pp.; $12.00; Oct. 1; 0-689-82325-8) Arriving in the snowy avalanche of holiday titles, this book begins with a bit of rhymed play on the beginning of Clement Moore’s poem, as Mouse investigates something “sweet and sparkly,” a cookie, “warm and melty” hot cocoa, and so on through candy, bells, angels, candles, presents, the tree, and finally, Santa himself. The language is either twee or pedestrian, and doesn’t really engage readers or onlookers in Mouse’s mission. The illustrations are done in thick holiday pigments: reds, greens, blues, and golds; the typeface is occasionally treated playfully. Insubstantial but wrapped prettily. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-689-82325-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1999

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more