PIPPI LONGSTOCKING'S AFTER-CHRISTMAS PARTY

At the end of Pippi in the South Seas (1959), Pippi and friends Tommy and Annika celebrated Christmas in Pippi's ramshackle Villa Villekulla. Pippi's After-Christmas Party, published in Sweden in the 1950s and not available in English until now, begins here. All the children come to a party in Pippi's snow-covered garden, where a trail of candies leads to a huge Christmas tree laden with goodies and presents. They feast on hot chocolate and cream cake inside an igloo, sled down the steep roof of the villa, dance and sing around the tree and, in an old Swedish custom, strip it of its treasures. Pippi welcomes a shy new boy and adopts a stray dog before the evening's over. She also vanquishes a child- hating old woman in a purely verbal skirmish, without resorting to her superhuman strength. The ratio of sweetness to silliness is perhaps a little higher than in the earlier stories, but Pippi spouts a bit of her usual inspired nonsense. Chesworth's combination of full-color illustrations and black silhouettes will look alien at first to readers accustomed to the Louis Glanzman drawings, but he has depicted Pippi exactly as Lindgren described her in the first book. Her fans will rejoice at the arrival of "one more story" about Pippi. (Picture book. 5-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-670-86790-X

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1996

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ABIYOYO RETURNS

The seemingly ageless Seeger brings back his renowned giant for another go in a tuneful tale that, like the art, is a bit sketchy, but chockful of worthy messages. Faced with yearly floods and droughts since they’ve cut down all their trees, the townsfolk decide to build a dam—but the project is stymied by a boulder that is too huge to move. Call on Abiyoyo, suggests the granddaughter of the man with the magic wand, then just “Zoop Zoop” him away again. But the rock that Abiyoyo obligingly flings aside smashes the wand. How to avoid Abiyoyo’s destruction now? Sing the monster to sleep, then make it a peaceful, tree-planting member of the community, of course. Seeger sums it up in a postscript: “every community must learn to manage its giants.” Hays, who illustrated the original (1986), creates colorful, if unfinished-looking, scenes featuring a notably multicultural human cast and a towering Cubist fantasy of a giant. The song, based on a Xhosa lullaby, still has that hard-to-resist sing-along potential, and the themes of waging peace, collective action, and the benefits of sound ecological practices are presented in ways that children will both appreciate and enjoy. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-689-83271-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2001

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This story covers the few days preceding the much-anticipated Midnight Zombie Walk, when Stink and company will take to the...

STINK AND THE MIDNIGHT ZOMBIE WALK

From the Stink series

An all-zombie-all-the-time zombiefest, featuring a bunch of grade-school kids, including protagonist Stink and his happy comrades.

This story covers the few days preceding the much-anticipated Midnight Zombie Walk, when Stink and company will take to the streets in the time-honored stiff-armed, stiff-legged fashion. McDonald signals her intent on page one: “Stink and Webster were playing Attack of the Knitting Needle Zombies when Fred Zombie’s eye fell off and rolled across the floor.” The farce is as broad as the Atlantic, with enough spookiness just below the surface to provide the all-important shivers. Accompanied by Reynolds’ drawings—dozens of scene-setting gems with good, creepy living dead—McDonald shapes chapters around zombie motifs: making zombie costumes, eating zombie fare at school, reading zombie books each other to reach the one-million-minutes-of-reading challenge. When the zombie walk happens, it delivers solid zombie awfulness. McDonald’s feel-good tone is deeply encouraging for readers to get up and do this for themselves because it looks like so much darned fun, while the sub-message—that reading grows “strong hearts and minds,” as well as teeth and bones—is enough of a vital interest to the story line to be taken at face value.

Pub Date: March 13, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7636-5692-8

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2012

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