ANDREW’S BRIGHT BLUE T-SHIRT

Clothes make the man, or in this case a young fox, in newcomer Wollman’s tale of an identity stitched into the fabric of a hand-me-down shirt. Andrew’s brother Ernie has given him a bright-blue T-shirt emblazoned with a soccer ball. Andrew worships his older brother and his prowess on the soccer field. He looks forward to the day when he is big enough to join him. For the time being, the shirt will serve as his hopes and dreams and he never intends to take it off (though his mother does demand washing it once a week). But Andrew is growing and the T-shirt isn’t. Soon enough his belly is poking out. Still, Andrew isn’t about to forsake his talisman; it might look comical, yet it has just the kind of mojo needed as he practices his dribbling, blocking, and kicking that he has seen his brother do out on the field. Comes the day when Andrew has a chance to show his soccer skills; all that practice and all that growing has given him what it takes, and it has also given him the security to doff the T-shirt: no epiphany, simply the realization—and the kind of positive reinforcement conducive to such a gesture—that it is time to move on. Lopez Escriva’s (Please Do Feed the Bears, p. 738, etc.) homey art gives Andrew the right measure of credulity and determination. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2002

ISBN: 0-385-74616-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2002

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SKELETON HICCUPS

Who hasn’t shared the aggravation of a whole day’s worth of bone-rattling hiccups? Poor Skeleton wakes up with a deadly case that he can’t shake, and it’s up to his friend Ghost to think of something to scare them away. Cuyler (Stop, Drop, and Roll, 2001, etc.) cleverly brings readers through the ups and downs of Skeleton’s day, from shower to ball-playing. Home folk remedies (holding his breath, eating sugar) don’t seem to work, but Ghost applies a new perspective startling enough to unhinge listeners and Skeleton alike. While the concept is clever, it’s Schindler’s (How Santa Lost His Job, 2001, etc.) paintings, done with gouache, ink, and watercolor, that carry the day, showing Skeleton’s own unique problems—water pours out of his hollow eyes when he drinks it upside down, his teeth spin out of his head when he brushes them—that make a joke of the circumstances. Oversized spreads open the scene to read-aloud audiences, but hold intimate details for sharp eyes—monster slippers, sugar streaming through the hollow body. For all the hiccupping, this outing has a quiet feel not up to the standards of some of Cuyler’s earlier books, but the right audience will enjoy its fun. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2002

ISBN: 0-689-84770-X

Page Count: 32

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2002

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DIM SUM FOR EVERYONE!

Dim sum is the perfect tea party for children because of the tasty, small dishes on teacarts from which to choose. Here, a little girl narrates a simple story of the delicious meal she shares with her family. Turnip cakes, fried shrimp, sweet pork buns, and sweet tofu are all chosen, and lastly, the narrator selects egg tarts. As each child selects from a cart, the perspective changes to focus on the chooser. The bright red restaurant rug is the background color for every page, setting off the silver carts with their goodies and the bright, patterned colors of the people’s clothes. The yellow letters of the text at times curve to match the tables in the picture or appear a little off to the side so as not to interfere with the visual image. One particularly effective spread steps back and shows a half-dozen tables all filled with little dishes and the silver carts wending their way through them; the pattern is delightful. A history of the origins of dim sum and its popularity today is described in an epilogue. The bright green endpapers are decorated at the front with food, condiments, and tableware while the back endpapers depict almost two dozen dim sum dishes. A delightful read-aloud, sure to please those children who have enjoyed dim sum and a fascinating adventure for those who have yet to experience it. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: July 10, 2001

ISBN: 978-0-440-41770-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2001

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