The short-story and picture-book forms are taken to a new level with these 13 very succinct vignettes told in double-page spreads using only three- or four-word rhymes formed with nouns and verbs. For example, the first story features a round-spectacled Billy holding a basketball and Milly next door, each sitting on their respective “stoops” waiting for the ice-cream truck. Billy plays “hoops” while Milly eats her “scoops” until Billy’s ball lands on Milly’s cone: “oops.” The four rhyming words are descriptive enough to emphasize action and reaction in a complete story, the main narrative thread of which depends on Mourning’s cartoon-style illustrations done in a mixed-media collage. Feldman’s choices of noun/verb combinations are not only clever but present a variety of amusing, imaginative and sensible scenarios. New readers will be able to visually move through the stories easily and will be encouraged to talk about the adventures and misadventures of these two friends after they read each rhyming set. A wonderfully playful introduction to language, rhyme and storytelling. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: June 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-399-24651-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2009


From the Adventures of Otto series

In his third beginning reader about Otto the robot, Milgrim (See Otto, 2002, etc.) introduces another new friend for Otto, a little mouse named Pip. The simple plot involves a large balloon that Otto kindly shares with Pip after the mouse has a rather funny pointing attack. (Pip seems to be in that I-point-and-I-want-it phase common with one-year-olds.) The big purple balloon is large enough to carry Pip up and away over the clouds, until Pip runs into Zee the bee. (“Oops, there goes Pip.”) Otto flies a plane up to rescue Pip (“Hurry, Otto, Hurry”), but they crash (and splash) in front of some hippos with another big balloon, and the story ends as it begins, with a droll “See Pip point.” Milgrim again succeeds in the difficult challenge of creating a real, funny story with just a few simple words. His illustrations utilize lots of motion and basic geometric shapes with heavy black outlines, all against pastel backgrounds with text set in an extra-large typeface. Emergent readers will like the humor in little Pip’s pointed requests, and more engaging adventures for Otto and Pip will be welcome additions to the limited selection of funny stories for children just beginning to read. (Easy reader. 5-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2003

ISBN: 0-689-85116-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2003


Floyd and Denise update “The Tortoise and the Hare” for primary readers, captioning each soft-focus, semi-rural scene with a short, simple sentence or two. Rabbit proposes running to school, while his friend Turtle takes the bus: no contest at first, as the bus makes stop after deliberate stop, but because Rabbit pauses at a pushcart for a snack, a fresh-looking Turtle greets his panting, disheveled friend on the school steps. There is no explicit moral, but children will get the point—and go on to enjoy Margery Cuyler’s longer and wilder Road Signs: A Harey Race with a Tortoise (p. 957). (Easy reader. 5-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-15-202679-7

Page Count: 20

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2000

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