Four small episodes that—in Goffstein's tenuous, tentative way—do for beingneighbors what Lobel's Frog and Toad stories do for being friends. In the first, "a hot, crispy pie" unaccustomedly baked for "my new neighbor" is so much exacting work that, once it's delivered, the narrator falls asleep; the second—involving snow-shoveling—is another shy outreach that, dishearteningly, doesn't quite connect. But in the third, "my new neighbor" comes over herself with lilacs—just after the house has been cleaned in anticipation of inviting her (not that she's ready to admit it—not yet). And the last finds the two impulsively letting down their guards. It takes a certain attentiveness to catch the delicate modulations here—but there are also some wonderful passages of pure, everyday business ("I changed my bedsheets, lemon-oiled the wood furniture, and hit the cushions against my knees") that children will relish for their own sakes. With, of course, Goffstein's precise and eloquent line drawings as accompaniments.

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1979

ISBN: 006022018X

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: April 27, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1979

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Playful, engaging, and full of opportunities for empathy—a raucous storytime hit.


From the There’s a…in Your Book series

Readers try to dislodge a monster from the pages of this emotive and interactive read-aloud.

“OH NO!” the story starts. “There’s a monster in your book!” The blue, round-headed monster with pink horns and a pink-tipped tail can be seen cheerfully munching on the opening page. “Let’s try to get him out,” declares the narrator. Readers are encouraged to shake, tilt, and spin the book around, while the monster careens around an empty background looking scared and lost. Viewers are exhorted to tickle the monster’s feet, blow on the page, and make a really loud noise. Finally, shockingly, it works: “Now he’s in your room!” But clearly a monster in your book is safer than a monster in your room, so he’s coaxed back into the illustrations and lulled to sleep, curled up under one page and cuddling a bit of another like a child with their blankie. The monster’s entirely cute appearance and clear emotional reactions to his treatment add to the interactive aspect, and some young readers might even resist the instructions to avoid hurting their new pal. Children will be brought along on the monster’s journey, going from excited, noisy, and wiggly to calm and steady (one can hope).

Playful, engaging, and full of opportunities for empathy—a raucous storytime hit. (Picture book. 2-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6456-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 5, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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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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