LITTLE MOON DOG

Fairies and exotic landscapes rendered with Rackham-esque depth illustrate this handsomely designed tale of a pet who falls among risky friends. Though the Man in the Moon has nailed his mailbox shut and battened down the hatches in response to the arrival of an annual busload of fairy tourists, his bored little dog slips out to play—and soon finds himself abandoned, very far from home. A rotund, bookish old gent with stars in his flyaway hair and beard, the Man in the Moon soon finds it a bit too quiet, and so sets out to track down his wayward companion. Tiny, appropriately mischievous-looking fairies in country dress flit through scenes washed in pale gold and rich in textured swirls of fine natural detail. The episode is rescued from blandness by the fairies’ hijinks, which range from unwinding “moonbeans” to “swapping around seeds to unsettle the spring.” Young children will pore over the art, cheer at the climactic happy reunion and take Ward’s point that “there is nothing quite so NASTY as a fickle FAIRY and nothing quite so NICE as a faithful FRIEND.” (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2007

ISBN: 0-525-47727-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2007

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ROOM ON THE BROOM

Each time the witch loses something in the windy weather, she and her cat are introduced to a new friend who loves flying on her broom. The fluid rhyming and smooth rhythm work together with one repetitive plot element focusing young attention spans until the plot quickens. (“Is there room on the broom for a blank such as me?”) When the witch’s broom breaks, she is thrown in to danger and the plot flies to the finish. Her friends—cat, dog, frog, and bird—are not likely to scare the dragon who plans on eating the witch, but together they form a formidable, gooey, scary-sounding monster. The use of full-page or even page-and-a-half spreads for many of the illustrations will ensure its successful use in story times as well as individual readings. The wart-nosed witch and her passengers make magic that is sure to please. Effective use of brilliant colors set against well-conceived backgrounds detail the story without need for text—but with it, the story—and the broom—take off. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-8037-2557-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2001

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THE SNAIL AND THE WHALE

Like an ocean-going “Lion and the Mouse,” a humpback whale and a snail “with an itchy foot” help each other out in this cheery travelogue. Responding to a plaintive “Ride wanted around the world,” scrawled in slime on a coastal rock, whale picks up snail, then sails off to visit waters tropical and polar, stormy and serene before inadvertently beaching himself. Off hustles the snail, to spur a nearby community to action with another slimy message: “SAVE THE WHALE.” Donaldson’s rhyme, though not cumulative, sounds like “The house that Jack built”—“This is the tide coming into the bay, / And these are the villagers shouting, ‘HOORAY!’ / As the whale and the snail travel safely away. . . .” Looking in turn hopeful, delighted, anxious, awed, and determined, Scheffler’s snail, though tiny next to her gargantuan companion, steals the show in each picturesque seascape—and upon returning home, provides so enticing an account of her adventures that her fellow mollusks all climb on board the whale’s tail for a repeat voyage. Young readers will clamor to ride along. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-8037-2922-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2004

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