BUTTON & POPPER by Oili Tanninen

BUTTON & POPPER

by ; illustrated by ; translated by
Age Range: 3 - 6
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A pixie family struggles to find a new home.

Mother and Father pixie and their 12 children need another place to live: With winter setting in, their apple tree no longer provides adequate shelter. Two of the boys, twins Button and Popper, sneak out early one morning, but all the people they ask about accommodations are aghast at the size of their family and have no idea where they could possibly go. Mistakenly carried home in a basket by an absent-minded professor and placed in his cellar, the adventuresome duo escapes and returns to the market to retrieve the professor’s actual basket, left behind when he picked up the wrong one. They deliver it back to him, whereupon he offers them use of his home until the spring. The family rejoices. Illustrated in saturated shades of yellow, orange, and black with simple geometric shapes and line designs reminiscent of Marimekko textiles, this 1960s reissue from Finland possesses retro charm. The pixies wear pointed hats with bobbles on top. While gender is ambiguous for most of the children, it’s the male characters who tend to demonstrate agency. Skin tone is mostly white but occasionally orange, yellow, or black. Inquisitive readers may wonder where the family lived the previous winter as well as about the scale of the pixies’ world (Button slips an apple into his pocket but later appears to be about the size of the professor’s bottle of juice). However, this simple story is sweet and appealing.

A visual delight. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 3rd, 2019
ISBN: 978-0-500-65201-5
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2019