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A zingy original tale for children needing a brush-up on clock-reading, schedule-keeping—or the perils of hanging out with five frisky monkeys. Crocodile stubbornly tries to adhere to his neatly typed schedule: “2:00. Shop for food. 3:00. Bath and snack. 4:00. Catch those pesky monkeys. 5:00. Cook those pesky monkeys . . . ”—but to a chorus of the title question, his simian tormenters continually distract him by fooling around, and ultimately throw a spanner into the works of his tractor-like monkey-catching machine. In the wake of the ensuing wreck, Crocodile suffers a change of heart, and amends his schedule: “Play catch with those pesky nice monkeys.” Giving his art a rougher, less-finished look than usual, Cushman puts a clock-face in each scene, captures the monkeys’ energy without leaving the pages looking over-busy, and pairs with Sierra’s lively text—“What TIME is it, Mr. Crocodile? Time to shop where it’s smart at the Crocodile Mart. / How did all these BANANAS get into my cart?!?”—to make any time the right time for this irresistible rhyme. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-15-216445-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Gulliver/Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2004

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The wriggly narrator of Diary of a Worm (2003) puts in occasional appearances, but it’s his arachnid buddy who takes center stage here, with terse, tongue-in-cheek comments on his likes (his close friend Fly, Charlotte’s Web), his dislikes (vacuums, people with big feet), nervous encounters with a huge Daddy Longlegs, his extended family—which includes a Grandpa more than willing to share hard-won wisdom (The secret to a long, happy life: “Never fall asleep in a shoe.”)—and mishaps both at spider school and on the human playground. Bliss endows his garden-dwellers with faces and the odd hat or other accessory, and creates cozy webs or burrows colorfully decorated with corks, scraps, plastic toys and other human detritus. Spider closes with the notion that we could all get along, “just like me and Fly,” if we but got to know one another. Once again, brilliantly hilarious. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-06-000153-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Joanna Cotler/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2005

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From the Henry and Mudge series

Rylant (Henry and Mudge and the Sneaky Crackers, 1998, etc.) slips into a sentimental mode for this latest outing of the boy and his dog, as she sends Mudge and Henry and his parents off on a camping trip. Each character is attended to, each personality sketched in a few brief words: Henry's mother is the camping veteran with outdoor savvy; Henry's father doesn't know a tent stake from a marshmallow fork, but he's got a guitar for campfire entertainment; and the principals are their usual ready-for-fun selves. There are sappy moments, e.g., after an evening of star- gazing, Rylant sends the family off to bed with: ``Everyone slept safe and sound and there were no bears, no scares. Just the clean smell of trees . . . and wonderful green dreams.'' With its nice tempo, the story is as toasty as its campfire and swaddled in Stevenson's trusty artwork. (Fiction. 6-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-689-81175-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1998

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