FARMER GEORGE AND THE NEW PIGLET

Ward’s bucolic Galahad, Farmer George, makes a triumphant return, this time rescuing a swine in distress. A forlorn piglet named Perry finds himself carried off to Farmer George’s haven for wayward animals in this cheery continuation of the popular series (Farmer George and the Snowstorm, see below, etc.). Alas, even the cozy comforts of a convivial pigsty fail to soothe the timid shoat. Each time Farmer George deposits the wily youngster in the sty, the piglet turns up in the farmhouse. So ensues a comical game of cat and mouse—or, perhaps more aptly, farmer and pig—as Perry stays for tea, returns for the night, and demands a midnight story. The ever-obliging Farmer George cheerfully cossets the distraught pip-squeak. However, the sleepless nights eventually take their toll and the farmer becomes too bleary-eyed to continue. A little friendly encouragement from the other piglets saves the day as Ward closes his tale on the merry note of little piggies—including Perry—frolicking in the mud. Droll, full-color illustrations neatly capture the hilarity of Farmer George’s predicament. Subtly included in the pictures for devoted fans are plenty of wry references to George’s previous adventures; Dotty hangs a hedgehog towel on the line, a book Perry reads features Clarrie the hen, and so forth. Readers can try to match the muddy piggy pair in an end of tale activity included in the final pages. Pure homespun fun. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2002

ISBN: 1-86205-521-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Pavilion/Trafalgar

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2001

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SAY HELLO!

Today Carmelita visits her Abuela Rosa, but to get there she must walk. Down Ninth Avenue she strolls with her mother and dog. Colorful shops and congenial neighbors greet them along the way, and at each stop Carmelita says hello—in Spanish, Arabic, Hebrew and more. With a friendly “Jambo” for Joseph, a “Bonjour” at the bakery and an affectionate “Hey” for Max and Angel, the pig-tailed girl happily exercises her burgeoning multilingual skills. Her world is a vibrant community, where neighborliness, camaraderie and culture are celebrated. Isadora’s collaged artwork, reminiscent of Ezra Jack Keats, contains lovely edges and imperfections, which abet the feeling of an urban environment. Skillfully, she draws with her scissors, the cut-paper elements acting as her line work. Everything has a texture and surface, and with almost no solid colors, the city street is realized as a real, organic place. Readers will fall for the sociable Carmelita as they proudly learn a range of salutations, and the artist’s rich environment, packed with hidden details and charming animals, will delight readers with each return visit. Simply enchanting. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: April 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-399-25230-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Dec. 23, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2010

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TEN LITTLE FINGERS AND TEN LITTLE TOES

A pleasing poem that celebrates babies around the world. Whether from a remote village or an urban dwelling, a tent or the snow, Fox notes that each “of these babies, / as everyone knows, / had ten little fingers / and ten little toes.” Repeated in each stanza, the verse establishes an easy rhythm. Oxenbury’s charming illustrations depict infants from a variety of ethnicities wearing clothing that invokes a sense of place. Her pencil drawings, with clean watercolor washes laid in, are sweetly similar to those in her early board books (Clap Hands, 1987, etc.). Each stanza introduces a new pair of babies, and the illustrations cleverly incorporate the children from the previous stanzas onto one page, allowing readers to count not only fingers and toes but also babies. The last stanza switches its focus from two children to one “sweet little child,” and reveals the narrator as that baby’s mother. Little readers will take to the repetition and counting, while parents will be moved by the last spread: a sweet depiction of mother and baby. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-15-206057-2

Page Count: 34

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2008

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