FROG LEGS

A collection of 24 deliberately silly poems illustrated with dancing, prancing, and hopping frogs. The poems are amusing and cute and full of wordplay. “Uh-oh. MUD. SO? / Slide a slicker slip step. / Stomp a sloppy plop step. / Covered head-to-toe step. / Dance until you’re dry!” Some rhyme, some don’t, and one, “Jumpabet,” a jump rope rhyme, is shaped in an arc like a long jump rope. The problem is that after a while, the poems begin to seem awfully alike. While they’re full of movement and action, there is really no focus to the collection. They are not really about frogs (except for the one about catching flies with your tongue) but are about things children do, like playing hopscotch, trick-or-treating, ice-skating, and square dancing. The illustrations, painted with acrylics, consist of anthropomorphic frogs with spindly legs and arms in a wide variety of unlikely poses, but again, they become repetitive, with each illustration seeming too much like the one before. The images are amusing enough, but not clever enough to sustain the reader through 24 poems. The palette is oddly drab, with dull greens, blues, and pinks predominating. Not an essential choice for one’s collection, but a nice book for kids who love frogs and nonsense poetry. (Picture book/poetry. 5-8)

Pub Date: March 31, 2000

ISBN: 0-688-17047-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Greenwillow

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2000

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

IGGY PECK, ARCHITECT

A repressive teacher almost ruins second grade for a prodigy in this amusing, if overwritten, tale. Having shown a fascination with great buildings since constructing a model of the Leaning Tower of Pisa from used diapers at age two, Iggy sinks into boredom after Miss Greer announces, throwing an armload of histories and craft projects into the trash, that architecture will be a taboo subject in her class. Happily, she changes her views when the collapse of a footbridge leaves the picnicking class stranded on an island, whereupon Iggy enlists his mates to build a suspension bridge from string, rulers and fruit roll-ups. Familiar buildings and other structures, made with unusual materials or, on the closing pages, drawn on graph paper, decorate Roberts’s faintly retro cartoon illustrations. They add an audience-broadening element of sophistication—as would Beaty’s decision to cast the text into verse, if it did not result in such lines as “After twelve long days / that passed in a haze / of reading, writing and arithmetic, / Miss Greer took the class / to Blue River Pass / for a hike and an old-fashioned picnic.” Another John Lithgow she is not, nor is Iggy another Remarkable Farkle McBride (2000), but it’s always salutary to see young talent vindicated. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-8109-1106-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2007

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An all-day sugar rush, putting the “fun” back into, er, education.

IF I BUILT A SCHOOL

A young visionary describes his ideal school: “Perfectly planned and impeccably clean. / On a scale, 1 to 10, it’s more like 15!”

In keeping with the self-indulgently fanciful lines of If I Built a Car (2005) and If I Built a House (2012), young Jack outlines in Seussian rhyme a shiny, bright, futuristic facility in which students are swept to open-roofed classes in clear tubes, there are no tests but lots of field trips, and art, music, and science are afterthoughts next to the huge and awesome gym, playground, and lunchroom. A robot and lots of cute puppies (including one in a wheeled cart) greet students at the door, robotically made-to-order lunches range from “PB & jelly to squid, lightly seared,” and the library’s books are all animated popups rather than the “everyday regular” sorts. There are no guards to be seen in the spacious hallways—hardly any adults at all, come to that—and the sparse coed student body features light- and dark-skinned figures in roughly equal numbers, a few with Asian features, and one in a wheelchair. Aside from the lack of restrooms, it seems an idyllic environment—at least for dog-loving children who prefer sports and play over quieter pursuits.

An all-day sugar rush, putting the “fun” back into, er, education. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-55291-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more