Great fun.



And not a small clock, either!

Apparently, this giant is related to that old lady who swallowed a fly. He is also a clock aficionado, or perhaps a clock repairman, as he’s surrounded by them. In any event, the white giant “had such a shock when he swallowed that clock!” After this, he swallows his knitting, a moth that he finds in his closet, some honey, even a bear. (“He swallowed the bear to eat up the honey.”) Next, he swallows a net “to catch the bear.” He tries a boat to “pull in the net.” Then he swallows the sea to “wash down the boat,” and finally tries swallowing the moon. Why? To “soak up the sea. / Not very clever—I’m sure you’ll agree!” Ingenious book design features a die-cut hole in the right-hand page, showing the clock that he has swallowed. The left-hand page features that first verse. Then when readers turn the pages, the hole on the left-hand page repeats that first verse in smaller type, while through the increasingly large holes on the right-hand pages, readers see the swallowed item(s). By the end, the hole is large, the verse is long, and the giant’s stomach sure to succumb to indigestion. Ellis’ pictures are refreshingly kooky, filled with various cats, mice, and other small critters who view the goings-on with some interest. Davies wisely sticks to the meter of her inspiration, and caregivers will likely sing that tune as they share the book.

Great fun. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-68010-076-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Dec. 3, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2018

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Pair this with Leo Timmers’ Who Is Driving? (2007) for twice the guessing fun.


From the Clothesline Clues series

Heling and Hembrook’s clever conceit challenges children to analyze a small town’s clotheslines to guess the job each of their owners does. 

Close-up on the clothesline: “Uniform and cap, / an invite for you. / Big bag of letters. / What job does she do?” A turn of the page reveals a macro view of the home, van and the woman doing her job, “She is a mail carrier.” Indeed, she can be spotted throughout the book delivering invitations to all the rest of the characters, who gather at the end for a “Launch Party.” The verses’ rhymes are spot-on, though the rhythm falters a couple of times. The authors nicely mix up the gender stereotypes often associated with several of these occupations, making the carpenter, firefighter and astronaut women. But while Davies keeps uniforms and props pretty neutral (he even avoids U.S. mail symbols), he keeps to the stereotypes that allow young readers to easily identify occupations—the farmer chews on a stalk of wheat; the beret-wearing artist sports a curly mustache. A subdued palette and plain white backgrounds keep kids’ focus on the clothing clues. Still, there are plenty of details to absorb—the cat with arched back that anticipates a spray of water, the firefighter who “lights” the rocket.

Pair this with Leo Timmers’ Who Is Driving? (2007) for twice the guessing fun. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: July 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-58089-251-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: May 16, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2012

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The action of this rhymed and humorous tale centers upon a mouse who "took a stroll/through the deep dark wood./A fox saw the mouse/and the mouse looked good." The mouse escapes being eaten by telling the fox that he is on his way to meet his friend the gruffalo (a monster of his imagination), whose favorite food is roasted fox. The fox beats a hasty retreat. Similar escapes are in store for an owl and a snake; both hightail it when they learn the particulars: tusks, claws, terrible jaws, eyes orange, tongue black, purple prickles on its back. When the gruffalo suddenly materializes out of the mouse's head and into the forest, the mouse has to think quick, declaring himself inedible as the "scariest creature in the deep dark wood," and inviting the gruffalo to follow him to witness the effect he has on the other creatures. When the gruffalo hears that the mouse's favorite food is gruffalo crumble, he runs away. It's a fairly innocuous tale, with twists that aren't sharp enough and treachery that has no punch. Scheffler's funny scenes prevent the suspense from culminating; all his creatures, predator and prey, are downright lovable. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: June 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-8037-2386-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1999

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