THE VERY BEST DOOR OF ALL

A cockamamie story about a cockamamie birthday present—suitable as an April Fool’s joke—from Netherlanders Linders and Cate. Evan the badger invites Pip the hedgehog to his birthday party. He then goes off to invite all his other friends. Along the way, he knocks on a lot of doors—striped, wet, tiny, grand, and a door in two pieces—but no door catches his fancy as much as Pip’s. Evan even returns to Pip’s house to pay homage to the beauty of the door. But Pip is in a rush to find Evan the perfect gift. Nothing seems right until a light clicks on in his attic: the door, of course! So he goes to great effort to remove it, injuring a little bird in the process—a curious if minor subplot—and presents it to Evan. Evan is nonplused by the present—it is, after all, a door opening into nothing—until Pip reminds him about saying how much he liked the door. “Pip, your door is the very best door of all . . . only because you are my very best friend of all.” Back the door goes to its rightful entry. A fairly absurd little treat made memorable by Cate’s stunning artwork, with its sophisticated color and design. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: April 1, 2001

ISBN: 1-886910-64-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2001

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The soft cadence of the rhyming verses and the joyous pictures of the elephants will make this a bedtime favorite

THIS IS OUR BABY, BORN TODAY

When a baby elephant is born, “wrinkled and gray,” not just the herd, but the whole world rejoices, from morning to night.

From the proud Mama to the grand Aunts, from the “fertile and firm” Earth to the ancient Banyan tree, everyone and everything around the new baby elephant joins in celebration and care for the Baby “who warms the hearts of the world today.” Glowing with warm golds and greens and shadowed with deep blues and greens, the gorgeous artwork lushly illuminates the day of an elephant’s birth as it is cared for by its family and surroundings. The expressions on the elephant faces are sheer joy to behold; the elephant smiles are realistic and yet radiate affection. Seemingly simple, this gentle rhyming story works on two levels: the playfulness of the young elephant and its friends ensure that young children will be able to see themselves in the story, and given the depiction of the natural scenes, at least some young readers will become fascinated with the lives of elephants as well. An author’s note at the end provides background from the Indian-American author’s own life and also draws attention to the present-day need to protect elephants from poaching and the loss of habitat.

The soft cadence of the rhyming verses and the joyous pictures of the elephants will make this a bedtime favorite . (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-399-16684-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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GOSSIE

A sweet and silly pair of tales about an eccentric gosling and her newfound friend. In Gossie, Dunrea (Bear Noel, 2000, etc.) describes the fashionable fowl’s favorite pastime: strutting about in her snazzy red rainboots. Yet, when her boots mysteriously disappear one day, Gossie sets out to locate them—only to discover a kindred spirit in fellow gosling Gertie. Despite her adoration of her footwear, Gossie amends her perception of high fashion, determining that it’s more fun to share accessories with a friend than to be perfectly attired but all alone. Gossie & Gertie chronicles the loving relationship of the best pals. Clad in bright red and blue boots, respectively, Gossie and Gertie gallivant about in tandem: wherever Gossie wanders, Gertie is sure to follow. However, when Gertie ventures out on her own, Gossie learns the benefits of letting her friend occasionally take the lead. Dunrea’s tales are simply wrought and rendered, with the ink and watercolor illustrations capturing the quaint, whimsical charm of the stories. Situated against stark white backgrounds, the bright-hued vignettes communicate an abundance of expression in a few deft strokes. The potent combination of toddler-appealing story lines and the charismatic charm of the illustrations assure that these smartly clad geese will be marching straight into the hearts of readers. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 26, 2002

ISBN: 0-618-17674-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2002

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