THE STEAMROLLER

A FANTASY

First published in a 1938 story collection, this fantasy about the steamroller Daisy gets for Christmas has obvious current appeal, but it couldn't be farther from a made-to-order liberation message. In fact The Steamroller barrels right through all gown-up notions of suitability to waken children's buried dreams. Daisy's glorious but uncontrollable steamroller rushes down the road squashing "flat as shadows. . .a pig and a chicken and my mean old aunt and three people I didn't know and two automobiles and a garbage truck and a trolley car and a policeman and my teacher." It's an exhilarating ride, and the uneasiness that must inevitably go along will be appeased when, after Daisy jumps out and sends the steamroller across the field in order to avoid squashing her friends, her parents give her a steam shovel with which to scoop all her victims up and back into shape. Evaline Ness' vervey Christmas colored block prints are inspired, and needless to say this leaves a vehicle like A Train for Jane (see Klein, below) coughing up dust — or more appropriately, flattened to a shadow.

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 1974

ISBN: 0802761917

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Walker

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 1974

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CINDERELLA

This companion piece to the other fairy tales Marcia Brown has interpreted (see Puss In Boots, 1952, p. 548 and others) has the smoothness of a good translation and a unique charm to her feathery light pictures. The pictures have been done in sunset colors and the spreads on each page as they illustrate the story have the cumulative effect of soft cloud banks. Gentle.

Pub Date: June 15, 1954

ISBN: 0684126761

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1954

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THE LORAX

The greening of Dr. Seuss, in an ecology fable with an obvious message but a savingly silly style. In the desolate land of the Lifted Lorax, an aged creature called the Once-ler tells a young visitor how he arrived long ago in the then glorious country and began manufacturing anomalous objects called Thneeds from "the bright-colored tufts of the Truffula Trees." Despite protests from the Lorax, a native "who speaks for the trees," he continues to chop down Truffulas until he drives away the Brown Bar-ba-loots who had fed on the Tuffula fruit, the Swomee-Swans who can't sing a note for the smogulous smoke, and the Humming-Fish who had hummed in the pond now glumped up with Gluppity-Glupp. As for the Once-let, "1 went right on biggering, selling more Thneeds./ And I biggered my money, which everyone needs" — until the last Truffula falls. But one seed is left, and the Once-let hands it to his listener, with a message from the Lorax: "UNLESS someone like you/ cares a whole awful lot,/ nothing is going to get better./ It's not." The spontaneous madness of the old Dr. Seuss is absent here, but so is the boredom he often induced (in parents, anyway) with one ridiculous invention after another. And if the Once-let doesn't match the Grinch for sheer irresistible cussedness, he is stealing a lot more than Christmas and his story just might induce a generation of six-year-olds to care a whole lot.

Pub Date: Aug. 12, 1971

ISBN: 0394823370

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1971

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