CLARA CATERPILLAR

Fans of Four Famished Foxes and Fosdyke (1995) and Some Swell Slug (1996) will have fun with this freshly minted fable. Clara is comfortable staying inside her chrysalis, even though Cornelius and a crowd of caterpillars cluster around curious as to why she’s so cautious. Both as caterpillar, and later as a magnificent scarlet butterfly, cruel (and catty) Catisha sneers at drab, cream-colored Clara—until a crow swoops down for a snack. With a distracting flutter, Clara flies to the rescue, camouflaging herself in a camellia until the confused crow decamps. Hailed a hero by Catisha and the other butterflies, Clara declares herself “completely contented.” In close up color cartoons, Cole follows this courageous cabbage butterfly from egg case to chrysalis (“crushed,” “creased,” “crumpled,” “cranky,” and “cramped”) then on to adulthood, never straying far from a “c.” It’s an alliterative adventure that may be set in a garden, but is anything but garden-variety. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: May 31, 2001

ISBN: 0-06-028995-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2001

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

DUCK FOR PRESIDENT

Just in time for an election year, the feathered troublemaker of Click, Clack, Moo (2000) and Giggle, Giggle, Quack (2002) enters the political arena, with sidesplitting results. Weary of chores, Duck organizes a farmyard election and ousts Farmer Brown—only to discover that running a farm is harder than it looks. So Duck moves on, campaigning first for Governor, than President, and winning each time by, well, a nose. Lewin follows Cronin’s lead in losing no opportunity to lampoon recognizable political figures. Seeing Duck flash a two-fisted “V For Victory” sign, edge out a decidedly Hillary-esque gubernatorial incumbent, play saxophone on late-night TV, and lean wearily on the presidential desk may amuse grownups more than children—but the comedy flows freely on more levels than one, and there’s sufficient hilarity for all. Seeing the error of his ways, Duck finally returns to the farm, and is last seen working not on chores, but, graduating from typewriter to computer, his memoirs. All things considered, he has plenty to write about. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: March 2, 2004

ISBN: 0-689-86377-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2004

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

MERCY WATSON TO THE RESCUE

Hilarity and hijinks abound in this tale about a voracious swine with an overweening yen for hot buttered toast. Mercy is the beloved pet pig of the doting Mr. and Mrs. Watson. When Mercy sneaks into her owner’s bed one night, her added heft causes the bed to fall partway through the ceiling. Although the besotted Watsons assume Mercy is trotting off to seek help, the only search and rescue Mercy seems to care about involves butter and hot bread. In her quest for some midnight munchies, Mercy awakens the crotchety neighbor. Wild chases and mayhem ensue before help arrives in the guise of firefighters. DiCamillo aims for over-the-top fun with her tale of porcine shenanigans, and Van Dusen’s gouache illustrations provide a comical counterpart to the text. The glossy paintings, with exaggerated caricatures and lively colors, complement DiCamillo’s tone, although the scowling, lantern-jawed visage of the crabby neighbor borders on the unpleasant. With vocabulary that may prove too challenging for a novice, DiCamillo’s tale is best suited for those ready to move up. However, the pacing and the action easily make it right for shared reading. (Fiction. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-7636-2270-2

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2005

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more