A less messy and far sturdier alternative to paper dolls.




Younger fashion mavens can mix and match attire on a cast of children using strips of finely worked patterns.

The trick is to stack stiff, die-cut pictures of eight button-eyed children—a racially diverse group including figures with different shades of brown skin and one, named Emily, with East Asian features—on one side and three rectangular pads of paper “fabric” on the other. Each pad is composed of a unique set of eight patterns, ranging from thin stripes and fabric textures to tiny hearts or dinosaurs. These can be flipped over to show through the die cuts as a selected child’s hat, coat, shirt, shoes, scarf, or accessory. The children are hinged at the top of the page and the “fabric” on the left, so that a fair number of variations can be achieved. Lift Isabella, Aidan, Anika, and Riley up to reveal Emily, and then flop a kitten-patterned strip, a rainbow-and-unicorn–patterned strip, and a red strip with white polka dots underneath her so that she appears to be wearing a hat with the kitten pattern and a scarf with unicorns and rainbows while towing a red sled with white polka dots. The patterns are all different, but they harmonize so well in color and motif that it may well be impossible to create any ensembles that clash.

A less messy and far sturdier alternative to paper dolls. (Novelty board book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 17, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4521-6039-9

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Chronicle

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Pair this with Leo Timmers’ Who Is Driving? (2007) for twice the guessing fun.


From the Clothesline Clues series

Heling and Hembrook’s clever conceit challenges children to analyze a small town’s clotheslines to guess the job each of their owners does. 

Close-up on the clothesline: “Uniform and cap, / an invite for you. / Big bag of letters. / What job does she do?” A turn of the page reveals a macro view of the home, van and the woman doing her job, “She is a mail carrier.” Indeed, she can be spotted throughout the book delivering invitations to all the rest of the characters, who gather at the end for a “Launch Party.” The verses’ rhymes are spot-on, though the rhythm falters a couple of times. The authors nicely mix up the gender stereotypes often associated with several of these occupations, making the carpenter, firefighter and astronaut women. But while Davies keeps uniforms and props pretty neutral (he even avoids U.S. mail symbols), he keeps to the stereotypes that allow young readers to easily identify occupations—the farmer chews on a stalk of wheat; the beret-wearing artist sports a curly mustache. A subdued palette and plain white backgrounds keep kids’ focus on the clothing clues. Still, there are plenty of details to absorb—the cat with arched back that anticipates a spray of water, the firefighter who “lights” the rocket.

Pair this with Leo Timmers’ Who Is Driving? (2007) for twice the guessing fun. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: July 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-58089-251-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: May 16, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet


The action of this rhymed and humorous tale centers upon a mouse who "took a stroll/through the deep dark wood./A fox saw the mouse/and the mouse looked good." The mouse escapes being eaten by telling the fox that he is on his way to meet his friend the gruffalo (a monster of his imagination), whose favorite food is roasted fox. The fox beats a hasty retreat. Similar escapes are in store for an owl and a snake; both hightail it when they learn the particulars: tusks, claws, terrible jaws, eyes orange, tongue black, purple prickles on its back. When the gruffalo suddenly materializes out of the mouse's head and into the forest, the mouse has to think quick, declaring himself inedible as the "scariest creature in the deep dark wood," and inviting the gruffalo to follow him to witness the effect he has on the other creatures. When the gruffalo hears that the mouse's favorite food is gruffalo crumble, he runs away. It's a fairly innocuous tale, with twists that aren't sharp enough and treachery that has no punch. Scheffler's funny scenes prevent the suspense from culminating; all his creatures, predator and prey, are downright lovable. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: June 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-8037-2386-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1999

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet