ONCE AROUND THE BLOCK by Kevin Henkes

ONCE AROUND THE BLOCK

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Sometimes a simple walk around the block is all it takes to cure a bad case of ennui. With her best friend on vacation, her dog preoccupied, and nothing good on TV, young Annie is reduced to waiting for Papa to come home from work. At Mama's suggestion, she takes a walk, and explains her blahs to each neighbor she meets. One gives her a rose, one gives her two large cookies, one has her walk barefoot in soft grass, and one offers some keys to jingle. Her mood lightens; and, when she reaches home, there's her father waiting for her. As in his other books, Henkes creates a comfortable story with understated, believable characters and events. Chess has toned down her usual dramatic style to fit the mood--to be sure, some colors are still garish, and everyone still looks like a pop-eyed lunatic, but she has made facial expressions gentler than is her wont, and set the tale in a neat, quiet, well-tended neighborhood. Boredom is generally countered in picture books by wild flights of fancy (see Stevenson's There's nothing to do!, 1986, for a recent example); here's a satisfactory alternative treatment.

Pub Date: April 20th, 1987
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Greenwillow