THE BIG CHEESE OF THIRD STREET

Talk about your half-pint! Poor Benny Antonelli. In his family of Big Antonellis, with “bus-sized women” and “skyscraper-sized men,” Little Benny is no bigger than a peanut-butter sandwich. Even the Antonelli’s friends who also live on Third Street are Big. Oh yes, the Big Antonelli kids play with Little Benny: “They stuffed him into snowballs. They taped him to toy airplanes.” And in keep-away, Little Benny is the ball. He escapes by shimmying up street signs and telephone poles. It’s not until the annual block party that he comes in to his own. Food, games, and music are the heart of the party—but the greased-pole climb is the crowning event. Exaggerated perspectives amusingly and sympathetically depict the feelings and emotions of Little Benny, who—of course—wins the pole climb and claims the coveted cheese from the top. In a style mixing Marc Simont and Dan Yaccarino, the cell-vinyl and pencil illustrations play up the tongue-in-cheek text and project the underdog’s point-of-view. Kids who have ever felt left out or picked on will appreciate this “bigger-than-life” slice of justice. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2002

ISBN: 0-689-82464-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2002

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THE BOY WHO LOVED WORDS

A charmingly prolix tall tale of a boy so word-obsessed that he collects new words on slips of paper. They bulge from his pockets, float around his head and fill his world. Classmates nickname Selig “Wordsworth” and give him a word for his collection: “oddball.” The discovery that his purpose in life is to share his carefully chosen words with others leads to success and love. And, “if, one day, . . . the perfect word just seems to come to you . . . you’ll know that Selig is near.” Schotter’s words are enlivened by Potter’s distinctively naïve figures, all placed in settings in which words and labels are scattered about in a way that invites close inspection and promotes purposeful inquiry. It all adds up to an *exultant encounter, chockablock with tintinnabulating gusto (*see tantalizing glossary appended). A gift to precocious children and teachers as well. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: March 28, 2006

ISBN: 0-375-83601-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2006

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Part of a spate of books intent on bringing the garbage collectors in children’s lives a little closer, this almost matches...

TRASHY TOWN

Listeners will quickly take up the percussive chorus—“Dump it in, smash it down, drive around the Trashy town! Is the trash truck full yet? NO”—as they follow burly Mr. Gilly, the garbage collector, on his rounds from park to pizza parlor and beyond.

Flinging cans and baskets around with ease, Mr. Gilly dances happily through streetscapes depicted with loud colors and large, blocky shapes; after a climactic visit to the dump, he roars home for a sudsy bath.

Part of a spate of books intent on bringing the garbage collectors in children’s lives a little closer, this almost matches Eve Merriam’s Bam Bam Bam (1995), also illustrated by Yaccarino, for sheer verbal and visual volume. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: April 30, 1999

ISBN: 0-06-027139-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1999

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