If the parents can pronounce the made-up words properly, a fun time will be had by all.

READ REVIEW

A TINY LITTLE DOOR

An illustrated book of children’s poetry, in the spirit of Dr. Seuss.

Dorian is a wordsmith and artist with a passion for creating and illustrating children’s poetry. Imaginative and expressive, Dorian’s work puts a new spin on favorite children’s topics such as getting kids to eat their vegetables, visiting magical places, bugs and making friends. Starting with “Noodle Eater,” Dorian explores how many ways one can eat a child’s favorite food—“I like noodles made with butter / I like noodles tossed with cheese / When I eat them with black pepper / I at once begin to sneeze.” Friends such as Billy Jo Brown (“He lay in a boat parked on the grass”), Jellycake Jane (“Jane serves soup in a teapot, burnt toast on a tray”), Tom Martin MacChase (“As a child Tom could lift ninety pounds in one hand”) and the Muffin Man (“We put blueberry, strawberry, blackberry jam / On our muffins to eat with blue eggs and ham”) are lovable characters, relatable to children and adults. Dorian shines when she uses fantastic words to express everyday actions, emotions or people. Characters such as the llegoswitch, whom you should never visit because, “You’ll be grabbed, and twittered and stuck in a ditch / and tossed 40 feet high in the air,” aren’t frightening. Rather, the play on words conjures up images of a magical, fun-loving animal. But it is to Dorian’s greatest credit that she makes the most dreaded experience for a child the most fun; her poems about food allow children to have no fear to tread into the unknown of new items. “Come along, come on with me to Daredevil’s Hope / I’ll buy all the drinks you can drink / a pineapple-didouble-dipberry-lope / Till you find you can no longer think.” There’s also a chance to try Grasshopper Jam (as well as dragonfly pie and curried ant soup). Dorian brings the reader completely into her world in the books’ titular poem, where she welcomes readers to a magical room that can only be entered by saying the magic word Kaladoosha-mangopipick-eeriedeeriepurd. Brightly colored, textilelike illustrations by the author accompany many of the poems, enriching the reading experience with their childlike exuberance.

If the parents can pronounce the made-up words properly, a fun time will be had by all.

Pub Date: July 20, 2011

ISBN: 978-1461011460

Page Count: 57

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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A festive invitation to creative liberation.

BEAUTIFUL OOPS!

A pleasingly tactile exploration of the possibilities inherent in mistakes.

"A torn piece of paper... / is just the beginning!" Spills, folded paper, drips of paint, smudges and smears—they "all can make magic appear." An increasingly complex series of scenarios celebrates random accidents, encouraging artistic experimentation rather than discouragement. The folded-over paper can be a penguin's head; a torn piece of newsprint can turn into a smiling dog with a little application of paint; a hot-chocolate stain can become a bog for a frog. Thanks to a telescoping pop-up, a hole is filled with nearly limitless possibilities. The interactive elements work beautifully with the photo-collaged "mistakes," never overwhelming the intent with showiness. Saltzberg's trademark cartoon animals provide a sweetly childlike counterpoint to the artful scribbles and smears of gloppy paint.

A festive invitation to creative liberation. (Pop-up. 4-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 23, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-7611-5728-1

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Workman

Review Posted Online: Dec. 10, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2010

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PLANTING A RAINBOW

LAP-SIZED BOARD BOOK

From the artist who created last year's shoutingly vivid Growing Vegetable Soup, a companion volume about raising a flower garden. "Mom and I" plant bulbs (even rhizomes), choose seeds, buy seedlings, and altogether grow about 20 species. Unlike the vegetables, whose juxtaposed colors were almost painfully bright, the flowers make a splendidly gaudy array, first taken together and then interestingly grouped by color—the pages vary in size here so that colored strips down the right-hand side combine to make a broad rainbow. Bold, stylish, and indubitably inspired by real flowers, there is still (as with its predecessor) a link missing between these illustrations with their large, solid areas of color and the real experience of a garden. The stylized forms are almost more abstractions than representations (and why is the daisy yellow?). There is also little sense of the relative times for growing and blooming—everything seems to come almost at once. Perhaps the trouble is that Ehlert has captured all the color of the garden, but not its subtle gradations or the light, the space, the air, and the continual movement and change.

Pub Date: March 21, 1988

ISBN: 0152063048

Page Count: 66

Publisher: Harcourt, Brace

Review Posted Online: April 24, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1988

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