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KNICK-KNACK PADDYWHACK! by Paul O. Zelinsky Kirkus Star


A Moving Parts Book

adapted by Paul O. Zelinsky, illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-525-46908-7
Publisher: Dutton

Lightning can strike twice: 12 years after Wheels on the Bus (1990), Zelinsky offers another pop-up tour de force, infused with humor and replete with astonishing special effects. Rather than huge, explosive constructs à la Robert Sabuda, Zelinsky and his paper engineer have gone for restrained, natural-looking, often multiple movements; as a child rises, dresses, and steps out of his house, the verses of the counting song are acted out on him by a succession of gnomish figures hiding beneath flaps, whisking across cutout windows, or popping out of slots. Some tabs control several actions at once—most notably on the penultimate spread, which not only contains an inventive reprise of the song, but sends all ten of the little old men, plus assorted dogs, rolling separately down a hill with a single pull. In a brilliant final flourish, each little old man literally “plays” his assigned number as if it were a musical instrument, while the lad claps delightedly along. The complex popups require complicated (read: fragile) inner works, but they’re sturdy enough to survive, at least for a while, the enthusiastic knicking and knacking this will certainly inspire. Children aren’t the only readers who’ll want to roll home with this treasure. And everyone will want more than one copy. (Picture book. 4-8)