In this wet and wordless adventure, a button-nosed little boy makes a cake with his mother, gets messy and needs a bath. He sulks, his dream of cake dissapointingly deferred. But his bath proves more interesting than he thought when a few fish leap around and draw his attention underneath the bubbly surface. The boy discovers a magical sea world and a map that leads him to a treasure chest. Then, in a humourous twist, he sees the chest is not filled with “treasure,” but shampoo. After an orange octopus gives him a good wash, he finds his mother waiting at the surface with a towel and eventually that piece of just-baked cake. Though some readers might feel a bit let down by finding only bath products in the chest, the cake makes up for it and so does Andreasen’s cuddly, expressive artwork. The visual narrative is clear enough for the very young, yet complex enough for slightly older audiences. A playful bedtime treat, especially for those too fidgety for text-heavy tales. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-8050-8686-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Christy Ottaviano/Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2009

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Simple, nicely drawn, and a friendly toast to the imagination.


A charming wordless tale about a magical red book and two unnamed children.

One child (quietly androgynous though called a girl by the flap copy) finds a red book lying in the city snow. She brings it to school and opens it to find a map of a warm island somewhere far away. Through a series of frames, the picture zooms in to show her a child on that island, also finding a red book (buried in the sand) and viewing the first child’s snowy city. Now his pictures zoom in and he finds her looking at him in the book and then out through the classroom window. They can see each other! After school, a purchase of many balloons carries the city child off to the island to meet her new friend who sees that she’s left the city and then, there she is—as seen in her book lying on the city sidewalk where she’s dropped it. As it closes, a new city child, who will presumably have an adventure too, picks it up.

Simple, nicely drawn, and a friendly toast to the imagination. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2004

ISBN: 978-0-618-42858-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2004

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Newcomer Nyeu’s wordless fantasy begins with a girl and boy sowing seeds—she, for watermelons, he, for a hat (or so his planted sign would indicate). The pair sleeps in a people-bed beside their garden bed, awakening next morn to sprouting melon seeds and an eye-poppingly huge flowering plant. Its largest bud yields a magic hat and a white bear—who parlays the day into something wondrous, indeed. From his hat, Wonder Bear produces monkeys, giant bubbles resembling lions and flora that morphs into sea-creature escorts. After careering exhilaratingly through night sky and sea, the little band heads back in time for Bear to tuck the children in beside their fabulous garden, now rife with full-size watermelons. Borrowing from Seuss, Gag, Thurber and Japanese textiles, Nyeu’s lush silk-screened pictures pulse with stylized yet organic forms, teetering perspectives and a mysterious, apt conclusion. The design elements are noteworthy, too: The generous trim size, creamy, opaque, matte paper and lovely boards and endpapers combine artfully. An intriguing, nuanced debut from an artist to watch. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-8037-3328-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2008

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