MAD ABOUT PLAID

Newcomer McElmurry offers a madcap romp with a plaid that spreads like the flu. Little Madison Pratt finds a purse in the park, a plaid purse with a sad blue inside: “Don't worry. I'll take care of you,” says Madison. But as she steps along, the plaid on the purse starts to crawl up her arm and the next thing you know, Madison has a bad case of the plaids, from her allplaid clothes to the plaid blush on her cheek. She follows her doctor's orders to rest easy, but a small plaid burp escapes her lips (product of the non-plaid cola she is sipping) and taints the rest of the town plaid, all plaid. In a brainstorm, Madison returns to the park where she dropped the purse and turns it inside out, only to release a plague of melancholy blue over everything. Life returns to normal only after Madison sings an extra-silly round of her extra-silly song, which just goes to show that “as you probably already knew, with a silly grin on you can't stay blue.” McElmurry has written the story in rhyme, but she keeps the wordplay on the ragged side, with broken syncopations, to keep both readers and listeners alert. The artwork is jazzy and two-dimensional, with, of course, the emphasis on color, as a book about plaid really ought to do. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: April 30, 2000

ISBN: 0-688-16951-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2000

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SEE PIP POINT

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 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2003

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NOT A BOX

Dedicated “to children everywhere sitting in cardboard boxes,” this elemental debut depicts a bunny with big, looping ears demonstrating to a rather thick, unseen questioner (“Are you still standing around in that box?”) that what might look like an ordinary carton is actually a race car, a mountain, a burning building, a spaceship or anything else the imagination might dream up. Portis pairs each question and increasingly emphatic response with a playscape of Crockett Johnson–style simplicity, digitally drawn with single red and black lines against generally pale color fields. Appropriately bound in brown paper, this makes its profound point more directly than such like-themed tales as Marisabina Russo’s Big Brown Box (2000) or Dana Kessimakis Smith’s Brave Spaceboy (2005). (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-06-112322-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2006

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