JUST THINK!

Stylized art captures the life and seasons of a young teddy-bear-toting girl. When Mom wants her to walk quickly, she thinks of fast things and she is quick. When Mom—“or some other poke-along person”—wants her to walk slowly, she thinks of things that are slow: “trailing strings, elephants strolling.” Finally, the “tip-toe” person invokes quiet “and I’m sleepy.” While intended for younger listeners, older preschoolers can use their imaginations much like the little girl, drawing parallels with the simple actions she is asked to perform. Placement of people and objects make the viewer’s eye sweep the page from left to right, training young eyes for reading. Flowing movement of falling leaves, apple trees, and groups of bees point toward the serene little girl and mirror her thoughts. Though one never completely sees mother, her presence is strongly felt as a comforting tie to family and universe. Useful as the last book read at a storytime or at bedtime as the little girl’s fulfilling day comes to an end on a winter night. (Picture book. 3-4)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-694-01315-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2001

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THE BLOODHOUND GANG IN THE CASE OF THE CACKLING GHOST

Two one-dimensional detection cases of the sort that seem to be proliferating. These feature the Bloodhound Gang of TV's 3-2-1 Contact. In The Case of the Cackling Ghost, Professor Bloodhound's three young employees—ages 10, 15, and 16—are summoned to a large country house, where an old woman is bothered by nightly visits from a ghost. The ghost, the trio soon discovers, is really clumps of moths attracted by pheromones—an illusion cooked up by the woman's debt-ridden nephew who hopes to frighten her into turning over her precious, but reputedly curse-ridden necklace. In . . . Princess Tomrorow, the gang is called as witnesses for a shady couple who pretend to predict horse-race results—but the corroborating letter received by the agency has actually been mailed after the race. The one they witnessed being mailed before the race has been invalidated by a wet but deliberately glueless postage stamp. They're both clever tricks, but of a sort that usually come five or ten to a volume. There's no attempt to flesh out the puzzles, and not a trace of the Fleischman wit and vigor.

Pub Date: April 1, 1981

ISBN: 0394946731

Page Count: 63

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: April 25, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1981

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THE CASE OF FLYING CLOCK

These latest adventures of the Bloodhound Gang (from public TV's 3-2-1 Contact) have a little more zip than the dismally perfunctory lust two (p. 800, J-186), but there is still little evidence of the Fleischman wit, inventiveness, and high spirits. And of course the idea of three kids investigating for an insurance company is too far-fetched for any nine-year-old's reality meter. But that's the situation in The Case of the Flying Clock, when Vikki, Ricardo, and Zach check out the theft of a snobbish horologist's flying pendulum clock. "Once belonged to Louis," says pompous Mr. Keefe—Louis XVI, that is. But because they know that steam will fog a mirror and salty water makes objects more buoyant, the Gang deduces that Mr. Keefe did not see a red-haired robber, as he claimed, but instead dumped his plastic-wrapped clock in his wishing-well pending future removal. The Case of the Secret Message brings the Bloodhounds up against a purse snatcher, a smuggler called Mr. Big, his bodyguard Muscles, and a little old lady who seems first a victim, then a cohort, and at last reveals herself as a young policewoman. Perhaps the point of the series is that the TV tie-in will lead habitual viewers to print. In any case, these belong with the merchandise mysteries.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1981

ISBN: 0394847652

Page Count: 68

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: April 25, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1981

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