There was an old man/Who was named Bellwood Bouse./He loved all the things/In his very large house"—and so one day he invites all of his furniture, pots, etc. (there's a page-long rhymed list) out into the sun and fresh air. "A preposterous/Sort of procession began," with Bouse's piano playing a tune as he and all the objects march to the village and dance in the square. The trouble is that the "things"—having tasted freedom—keep right on marching, and Bouse mourns for a year before they come home, damaged but welcome. The concept of prodigal "mirrors and drapes" and teakettles is offbeat at the least, and it's harder to share Bouse's fondness for things than, say, Mister Muster's for his animals, but Lobel invests this with more of his own loving attention. The pictures, with fine black lines shading the subdued colors, glow with the quiet affection old Bouse has for his possessions and the significance he attaches to them.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1974

ISBN: 0437557138

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: May 1, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1974

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An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some...


With a little help from his audience, a young storyteller gets over a solid case of writer’s block in this engaging debut.

Despite the (sometimes creatively spelled) examples produced by all his classmates and the teacher’s assertion that “Stories are everywhere!” Ralph can’t get past putting his name at the top of his paper. One day, lying under the desk in despair, he remembers finding an inchworm in the park. That’s all he has, though, until his classmates’ questions—“Did it feel squishy?” “Did your mom let you keep it?” “Did you name it?”—open the floodgates for a rousing yarn featuring an interloping toddler, a broad comic turn and a dramatic rescue. Hanlon illustrates the episode with childlike scenes done in transparent colors, featuring friendly-looking children with big smiles and widely spaced button eyes. The narrative text is printed in standard type, but the children’s dialogue is rendered in hand-lettered printing within speech balloons. The episode is enhanced with a page of elementary writing tips and the tantalizing titles of his many subsequent stories (“When I Ate Too Much Spaghetti,” “The Scariest Hamster,” “When the Librarian Yelled Really Loud at Me,” etc.) on the back endpapers.

An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some budding young writers off and running. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2012

ISBN: 978-0761461807

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Amazon Children's Publishing

Review Posted Online: Aug. 22, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2012

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This companion piece to the other fairy tales Marcia Brown has interpreted (see Puss In Boots, 1952, p. 548 and others) has the smoothness of a good translation and a unique charm to her feathery light pictures. The pictures have been done in sunset colors and the spreads on each page as they illustrate the story have the cumulative effect of soft cloud banks. Gentle.

Pub Date: June 15, 1954

ISBN: 0684126761

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1954

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