While less intricate than the scenes in Martin Handford’s Where’s Waldo series, these hilarious, community-spirited...


From the Mr Tweed series

A dapper gent on his daily walk discovers that helping community members find lost items bears its own rewards.

Mr Tweed (this import retains its British spelling), a mustachioed dog in pinstripe trousers and a stovepipe hat half his height, successively assists citizens of many species looking for a lost kite in the park, two kittens in a garden, three pet mice at the library and more. For each good deed, there’s a double-page spread that frames the problem, depicts the lost items and cheerfully enlists readers to turn the page and aid the search. Those ensuing page turns yield teeming tableaux chock-a-block with lush scenery and wacky details in opaque carnival hues of orange, blue, purple and green. The town pool, harboring professor Ribbet’s four escaped goldfish, roils with inflatable toys and swimmers from ducks to rabbits (with humans a represented minority). Penultimately, Mr Tweed helps find Pingle Penguin’s nine balloons, released mistakenly at the town fair. Ready to head home, he’s invited by Pete Weasel to “a huge street party” where all the folks he’s helped are waiting to fête him with 10 presents (strewn throughout the scene, of course). Stoten’s whimsical, stylized pictures recall erstwhile graphic design influencers Seymour Chwast and Peter Max.

While less intricate than the scenes in Martin Handford’s Where’s Waldo series, these hilarious, community-spirited panoramas will reward repeat scrutiny. Great fun. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 14, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-909263-35-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Flying Eye Books

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2014

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Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.


A succession of animal dads do their best to teach their young to say “Dada” in this picture-book vehicle for Fallon.

A grumpy bull says, “DADA!”; his calf moos back. A sad-looking ram insists, “DADA!”; his lamb baas back. A duck, a bee, a dog, a rabbit, a cat, a mouse, a donkey, a pig, a frog, a rooster, and a horse all fail similarly, spread by spread. A final two-spread sequence finds all of the animals arrayed across the pages, dads on the verso and children on the recto. All the text prior to this point has been either iterations of “Dada” or animal sounds in dialogue bubbles; here, narrative text states, “Now everybody get in line, let’s say it together one more time….” Upon the turn of the page, the animal dads gaze round-eyed as their young across the gutter all cry, “DADA!” (except the duckling, who says, “quack”). Ordóñez's illustrations have a bland, digital look, compositions hardly varying with the characters, although the pastel-colored backgrounds change. The punch line fails from a design standpoint, as the sudden, single-bubble chorus of “DADA” appears to be emanating from background features rather than the baby animals’ mouths (only some of which, on close inspection, appear to be open). It also fails to be funny.

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-00934-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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A comical, fresh look at crayons and color

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Duncan wants to draw, but instead of crayons, he finds a stack of letters listing the crayons’ demands in this humorous tale.

Red is overworked, laboring even on holidays. Gray is exhausted from coloring expansive spaces (elephants, rhinos and whales). Black wants to be considered a color-in color, and Peach? He’s naked without his wrapper! This anthropomorphized lot amicably requests workplace changes in hand-lettered writing, explaining their work stoppage to a surprised Duncan. Some are tired, others underutilized, while a few want official titles. With a little creativity and a lot of color, Duncan saves the day. Jeffers delivers energetic and playful illustrations, done in pencil, paint and crayon. The drawings are loose and lively, and with few lines, he makes his characters effectively emote. Clever spreads, such as Duncan’s “white cat in the snow” perfectly capture the crayons’ conundrum, and photographic representations of both the letters and coloring pages offer another layer of texture, lending to the tale’s overall believability.

A comical, fresh look at crayons and color . (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 27, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-399-25537-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2013

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