The kitten has an argument, but readers would be hard put to find a decomposing spud with a more winning personality.

ROT, THE CUTEST IN THE WORLD!

A “mutant potato” with mottled skin and mismatched eyes enters a cuteness contest.

No sooner does Rot sign up than he’s bellowing out a song in anticipation of victory—until the sight of his rival contestants, an “itty-bitty baby bunny with fluffy, floppy ears,” a “little-wittle bewitching bewhiskered cuddly kitten,” and an “eenie-weenie pink and peppy jolly jellyfish” shakes even his self-confidence. Maybe if he dons bunny ears, whiskers, or a pink tutu? No, in the end he decides to go onstage as he is, show his better side (butt crack and all), and hope for the best. And, as the judging panel turns out to be composed entirely of moldy fruits, he struts off with a huge shiny trophy. Clanton includes potato stamps among the various media he uses to create his simple cartoon illustrations, achieving compellingly scabrous looks for his main character and the judges. He also leaves it to readers to decide if the outcome is a case of cuteness being in the eye of the beholder or, as the “little-wittle,” etc., kitten mutters, evidence of a rigged competition.

The kitten has an argument, but readers would be hard put to find a decomposing spud with a more winning personality. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Dec. 19, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4814-6762-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Readers who (inexplicably) find David Lawrence’s Pickle and Penguin (2004) just too weird may settle in more comfortably...

LOST AND FOUND

A lad finds a penguin on his doorstep and resolutely sets out to return it in this briefly told import. 

Eventually, he ends up rowing it all the way back to Antarctica, braving waves and storms, filling in the time by telling it stories. But then, feeling lonely after he drops his silent charge off, he belatedly realizes that it was probably lonely too, and turns back to find it. Seeing Jeffers’s small, distant figures in wide, simply brushed land- and sea-scapes, young viewers will probably cotton to the penguin’s feelings before the boy himself does—but all’s well that ends well, and the reunited companions are last seen adrift together in the wide blue sea. 

Readers who (inexplicably) find David Lawrence’s Pickle and Penguin (2004) just too weird may settle in more comfortably with this—slightly—less offbeat friendship tale. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-399-24503-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2005

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A close encounter of the best kind.

FIELD TRIP TO THE MOON

Left behind when the space bus departs, a child discovers that the moon isn’t as lifeless as it looks.

While the rest of the space-suited class follows the teacher like ducklings, one laggard carrying crayons and a sketchbook sits down to draw our home planet floating overhead, falls asleep, and wakes to see the bus zooming off. The bright yellow bus, the gaggle of playful field-trippers, and even the dull gray boulders strewn over the equally dull gray lunar surface have a rounded solidity suggestive of Plasticine models in Hare’s wordless but cinematic scenes…as do the rubbery, one-eyed, dull gray creatures (think: those stress-busting dolls with ears that pop out when squeezed) that emerge from the regolith. The mutual shock lasts but a moment before the lunarians eagerly grab the proffered crayons to brighten the bland gray setting with silly designs. The creatures dive into the dust when the bus swoops back down but pop up to exchange goodbye waves with the errant child, who turns out to be an olive-skinned kid with a mop of brown hair last seen drawing one of their new friends with the one crayon—gray, of course—left in the box. Body language is expressive enough in this debut outing to make a verbal narrative superfluous.

A close encounter of the best kind. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: May 14, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4253-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Margaret Ferguson/Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Feb. 6, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more