WHAT! CRIED GRANNY

AN ALMOST BEDTIME STORY

With the help of shrewd, patient grandmother, Patrick scores a victory for all bedtime foot-draggers in this energetic debut of two children’s book newcomers. With the sun on the horizon, Patrick points out that he has no bed; springing into action, Granny chops down a tree, hauls out her toolbox and presents him with a fine new bed. Unfortunately, as a poker-faced Patrick complains in succession, he has no pillow, blanket, or teddy; by the time Granny—quietly, relentlessly toiling on despite her Herculean tasks—has finished gathering chicken feathers, weaving wool, and converting the curtains into a huge purple bear, morning sunlight is flooding in. Johnson gives his illustrations a 1960s retro look, with canted perspectives, long slanted borders, and a color scheme involving turquoise, orange-reds, and pastel greens; these colors, evenly applied in large background fields, cool off as sunset deepens into night, then warm to signal the approaching day, slyly preparing viewers for the concluding punchline. Children will snuggle down with smiles on their faces after this comic spin on the paraphernalia associated with a common ritual. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-8037-2382-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1999

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JUST LIKE A BABY

A handmade cradle forms the centerpiece of one family’s celebration of the birth of a new baby in this congenial debut from Bond. Skirts bounce, watch fobs bob, and pots and pans swing from the rafters as the members of a family find out the good news—a new baby is on the way. Each one takes part in the construction of a cradle: Father builds it, Grandfather paints it, Grandmother sews a quilt for it, Brother cuts out a mobile to hang overhead, and Mother sets it in near the window, beneath the pearly moonlight. A cumulative refrain marks the completion of each person’s loving task; one family member after another takes a turn climbing into the cradle and is gently rocked to sleep. Rounded, rosy-cheeked, chubby characters spill out of the cradle and skewed, elongated perspectives recall Audrey and Don Woods’ The Napping House (1984). The circle of family surrounding the baby provides more warmth than a fire in the hearth and is more soothing than the hum of a lullaby. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-316-10416-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1999

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HOPE

Monk takes a didactic tack in presenting one girl’s ancestry, weaving into a story of several generations the scene of her African-American mother and Caucasian father’s wedding. The stumbling narration establishes that the protagonist is in sixth grade, looking back on a summer weekend before she entered second grade. Her loving Aunt Prudence, known as Aunt Poogee, takes the narrator to an open-air market, where they encounter another relative, Miss Violet. Miss Violet asks outright, “My goodness, Prudence, is the child mixed?” The question haunts the girl, whose name is revealed as Hope, until Aunt Poogee steps in with a bedtime story that is overblown, invoking the faith of immigrants and slaves across generations who “look forward to a future where you will be proud to be part of a race that is simply ‘human.’ “ The sentiments are strong, but the delivery borders on mawkish. Sturdy faces, tender postures, and vibrant backgrounds considerably enliven the bibliotherapeutic proceedings. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 9, 1999

ISBN: 1-57505-230-X

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Carolrhoda

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1999

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