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LOVEY AND DOVEY by Elle van Lieshout Kirkus Star


by Elle van Lieshout & Erik van Os & illustrated by Mies van Hout

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: Jan. 25th, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-59078-660-4
Publisher: Lemniscaat/Boyds Mills

A winsome prison fable from the Netherlands. Lovey and Dovey, she plump, he thin as a rail, both clad in prison stripes, have “stolen each other’s hearts”—but that’s not why they languish in Katakom: They also stole a pair of blue socks, which they now wear, Lovey on her right foot, Dovey on his left. When Lovey complains about the view, Dovey squeezes through the bars, tears a square of “sun and sea” from the landscape and takes it back to their cell to hang on the wall. This is followed by the moon, an apple tree and so on. A wordless subplot depicts a rabbit artist who follows Dovey, painting in his own designs on the blank silhouettes left behind by Dovey’s thefts. Van Hout places her endearing convicts, rendered as line-and-color cartoons, against soft-edged backgrounds, the harsh gray of the cell modulating to bright pastels as the outside is brought in, piece by piece. “But one day, disaster struck: they were released.” The resolution may well bring pause to adults, but children will respond to its daffy logic and celebrate along with the lovers. (Picture book. 5-8)