Next book

THE MOUSE MANSION

A community in miniature, fully realized and elucidated by sensitive storytelling.

In 17 episodes, two winsome, knitted mice—best friends Sam and Julia—explore the thriving, multistory apartment community where they both live.

Dutch artist Schaapman’s extraordinary construction, 6 feet wide and towering nearly 10 feet tall, plays the deservedly starring role here, as photographed by Ton Bouwer. The two mice's everyday adventures take them to the recycling room, where they help the Ragman during his weekly pickup, and the bakery, where their dime buys a bagful of delicious if broken cookies. They help with Sam’s new triplet siblings as well as the laundry (working together to neatly quell the foamy chaos that results when Julia uses too much soap). Julia lives with her mom; their small apartment’s rough basics contrast with Sam’s extended family’s comfortable digs. Julia’s weeklong bout with chicken pox (the spots are, rather charmingly, embroidered on) illuminates her mother’s loving care. A later visit to Sam’s aunt’s family for dinner on the Jewish Sabbath further expands Julia’s cultural understanding. In turn, Julia’s venturesome nature, steadfast friendship and predilection for “big adventures” help Sam to overcome his shyness and fears. Schaapman’s ingenious miniature interiors are certain to captivate all ages. From tiny wooden toys and well-scaled textiles to Sam’s grandpa’s faded sailor tattoos, the thoroughgoing attention to detail consistently fascinates.

A community in miniature, fully realized and elucidated by sensitive storytelling. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 13, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8037-4049-5

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 13, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2014

Categories:
Next book

PETE THE CAT'S 12 GROOVY DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

Pete’s fans might find it groovy; anyone else has plenty of other “12 Days of Christmas” variants to choose among

Pete, the cat who couldn’t care less, celebrates Christmas with his inimitable lassitude.

If it weren’t part of the title and repeated on every other page, readers unfamiliar with Pete’s shtick might have a hard time arriving at “groovy” to describe his Christmas celebration, as the expressionless cat displays not a hint of groove in Dean’s now-trademark illustrations. Nor does Pete have a great sense of scansion: “On the first day of Christmas, / Pete gave to me… / A road trip to the sea. / GROOVY!” The cat is shown at the wheel of a yellow microbus strung with garland and lights and with a star-topped tree tied to its roof. On the second day of Christmas Pete gives “me” (here depicted as a gray squirrel who gets on the bus) “2 fuzzy gloves, and a road trip to the sea. / GROOVY!” On the third day, he gives “me” (now a white cat who joins Pete and the squirrel) “3 yummy cupcakes,” etc. The “me” mentioned in the lyrics changes from day to day and gift to gift, with “4 far-out surfboards” (a frog), “5 onion rings” (crocodile), and “6 skateboards rolling” (a yellow bird that shares its skateboards with the white cat, the squirrel, the frog, and the crocodile while Pete drives on). Gifts and animals pile on until the microbus finally arrives at the seaside and readers are told yet again that it’s all “GROOVY!”

Pete’s fans might find it groovy; anyone else has plenty of other “12 Days of Christmas” variants to choose among . (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-267527-9

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Aug. 19, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2018

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 70


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • IndieBound Bestseller

Next book

THE WONKY DONKEY

Hee haw.

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 70


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • IndieBound Bestseller

The print version of a knee-slapping cumulative ditty.

In the song, Smith meets a donkey on the road. It is three-legged, and so a “wonky donkey” that, on further examination, has but one eye and so is a “winky wonky donkey” with a taste for country music and therefore a “honky-tonky winky wonky donkey,” and so on to a final characterization as a “spunky hanky-panky cranky stinky-dinky lanky honky-tonky winky wonky donkey.” A free musical recording (of this version, anyway—the author’s website hints at an adults-only version of the song) is available from the publisher and elsewhere online. Even though the book has no included soundtrack, the sly, high-spirited, eye patch–sporting donkey that grins, winks, farts, and clumps its way through the song on a prosthetic metal hoof in Cowley’s informal watercolors supplies comical visual flourishes for the silly wordplay. Look for ready guffaws from young audiences, whether read or sung, though those attuned to disability stereotypes may find themselves wincing instead or as well.

Hee haw. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-545-26124-1

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 28, 2018

Categories:
Close Quickview