“Little boy blue / come blow your tuba. / The sheep are in Venice, / and the cow’s in Aruba.” Pairing frenetic and garishly colored art to familiar rhymes in “more modern, more fresh, and well…more Goosian” versions, Seibold stakes out Stinky Cheese Man territory to introduce “Jack and Jill / and a pickle named Bill,” the Old Woman Who Lived in a Sneaker (“She had a great big stereo speaker”), Peter Pumpkin Pickle Pepper and about two dozen more “re-nurseried” figures. Against patterned or spray-painted backgrounds, an entire page of umbrella-carrying raindrops float down, a bunch of mice run up (“the clock struck one; / the rest had fun”), cats fiddle for Old King Coal and others, Jack B. Nimble makes a lifelong career out of demonstrating his one trick and a closing rendition of the counting rhyme “One, Two, I Lost My Shoe” is transformed into a clever reprise as many of the characters return to take final bows. Sparkles on the cover; chuckles (despite some lame rhyming) throughout. (Fractured nursery rhymes. 7-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-8118-6882-2

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2010

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It may be interchangeable with its three predecessors, but it still provides peaceful, gently unsettling visions for young...


Imagine a new gallery of technically adroit paintings featuring M.C. Escher–like shifts in images and perspective: Gonsalves’ fourth, and first solo, pictorial outing.

The artist has one main idea, and from Imagine a Night (2003) on, he’s worked it thoroughly. Each scene begins at one edge with a realistic outdoor or interior view containing one or two elements that shift in either gradual or sudden transitions as the eye moves across. Here, clouds become mountains or whole continents, for instance, fallen autumn leaves are transformed to swirls of monarch butterflies, a row of open books becomes a row of doorways, and a high waterfall is a troupe of lithe Martha Graham–style dancers by the time it reaches the bottom. He tucks human figures of diverse ages (almost all Caucasian), including several self-portraits, into the paintings. Here, for a new wrinkle, he provides his own one-sentence captions, written in the same vein as Sarah Thomson’s lyrical comments in previous outings: “imagine a world… / …where the beauty that has fallen / can find a way to fly.”

It may be interchangeable with its three predecessors, but it still provides peaceful, gently unsettling visions for young dreamers. (Picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4814-4973-1

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2015

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Well meant but unsuccessful.



The sincerity in these versified valentines to 13 often-reviled animals may ring true, but the natural history doesn’t always pass muster.

Following a strong opener—“Turkey vulture, please be mine, / Not because you soar so fine, / But ’cause you rock on clean-up crew; / No rot is left when you are through”—the quality of the informational content takes a sharp nose dive. There are arguable claims that moles and opossums do no damage to gardens and that flies and cockroaches should be considered helpful recyclers of dead matter, as well as the befuddling, apparently rhyme-driven assertion that moths (not as caterpillars but in their flying, adult stage) are pests that “dine on fields of grain.” Dubbing these and other subjects from skunks and vampire bats to mosquitoes and snakes “secret friends,” Lang closes with an invitation to readers to compose similar love notes to “someone who is misunderstood.” In oval or unbordered natural settings, Gallegos renders each creature with reasonable accuracy, though sometimes with a smile or oversized eyes for extra visual appeal.

Well meant but unsuccessful. (Picture book/poetry. 7-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-9834594-5-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Prospect Park Media

Review Posted Online: July 29, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2012

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