CROCS!

Greenberg has mellowed some since the gleeful grotesqueries of his glorious Slugs! (1983), but his penchant for creatures creepy and crawly hasn’t abated a jot. Having survived Bugs! (1997), Skunks! (2001) and Snakes! (2004), the stolid young hero decides to eschew the terrors of the city and take a vacation to a tropical island. Unbeknownst to him, the island he has chosen is quickly swarmed by crocs of every size and mannerism. Fortunately these are friendly reptiles, and even when the island itself is revealed to be a gigantic croc on its tummy, the boy is still crowned king (in a rather Sendakian twist), and everything is swell thereafter. The bouncy verse emphasizes the wry while Munsinger’s pictures lighten some of the tale’s darker elements, making for a perfect mix of scary and fun. For fans of the pair’s previous books, this title will offer much of the same with a sweet edge entirely its own. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-316-07306-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2008

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Fans of Rathmann's Good Night, Gorilla (1994) will like this one, too.

OFFICER BUCKLE AND GLORIA

The unexpected theme of this picture book featuring a policeman and his dog is jealousy over attention; it has definite child appeal.

Officer Buckle likes to share safety tips with children, but he is so boring he puts the audience to sleep. Then he takes along the police department's new dog, Gloria, to share the stage. She does tricks, such as jumping up with all her hair standing on end as he talks about avoiding electric shock, and Officer Buckle is a hit. He doesn't realize until later that his new popularity is based on Gloria's antics. He stops lecturing and sulks, relenting only when the children write to him to say that Gloria won't perform without him.The book is quite funny, thanks to Rathmann's frenetic cartoons. The text is very direct; Gloria's performances only show up in the pictures, and the contrast is hilarious. The idea of an adult's envying a dog is amusing, and the emotions portrayed will hit home with children.

Fans of Rathmann's Good Night, Gorilla (1994) will like this one, too. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 12, 1995

ISBN: 0-399-22616-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1995

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

JOHN PHILIP DUCK

Edward and his father work for the Peabody Hotel in Memphis since the Depression has brought hard times for so many. On weekends they return to their farm in the hills and it’s there Edward finds John Philip Duck, named for the composer whose marches Edward listens to on the radio. Edward has to look after the scrawny duckling during the week, so he risks the ire of the hotel manager by taking John Philip with him. The expected occurs when Mr. Shutt finds the duckling. The blustery manager makes Edward a deal. If Edward can train John Philip to swim in the hotel fountain all day (and lure in more customers), Edward and the duck can stay. After much hard work, John Philip learns to stay put and Edward becomes the first Duck Master at the hotel. This half-imagined story of the first of the famous Peabody Hotel ducks is one of Polacco’s most charming efforts to date. Her signature illustrations are a bit brighter and full of the music of the march. An excellent read aloud for older crowds, but the ever-so-slightly anthropomorphic ducks will come across best shared one-on-one. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-399-24262-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2004

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more