A fun rhyming tale with a solid message undermined by mediocre illustrations.



Diverse woodland creatures come together to celebrate and eat in debut author Kaplan’s picture book with illustrations by Kumar (Tuck-In Tuesday, 2018, etc.).

A squirrel with a bullhorn invites every animal in the forest to sit down at a table that’s laden with fruits and vegetables. In rhyming text, Kaplan plays with naming conventions in several languages: “Mrs. Cat, Mr. Dog / Señor Bird, Monsieur Frog.” A wolf and a lamb sit next to a blue, polka-dot rabbit; other animals include bears, insects, a porcupine with an oddly ducklike snout, birds, amphibians, reptiles, and a calf that looks like a miniature adult, complete with horns. An image of the entire table shows the group getting along and behaving courteously. Amid the silly rhyming combinations, which will entertain young readers, Kaplan’s message is clear: If these different creatures can get along, shouldn’t humans with less significant differences be able to get along, too? The author’s rhyming text flows smoothly and offers an assortment of creatures that children will enjoy. Kumar’s cartoonish illustrations (including some for kids to color at the end) feature some identical plates of food, giving the feast a copied-and-pasted feel, and the animals look more like dolls than actual forest creatures.

A fun rhyming tale with a solid message undermined by mediocre illustrations.

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-692-14679-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: BHP Publishing

Review Posted Online: Jan. 2, 2019

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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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The greening of Dr. Seuss, in an ecology fable with an obvious message but a savingly silly style. In the desolate land of the Lifted Lorax, an aged creature called the Once-ler tells a young visitor how he arrived long ago in the then glorious country and began manufacturing anomalous objects called Thneeds from "the bright-colored tufts of the Truffula Trees." Despite protests from the Lorax, a native "who speaks for the trees," he continues to chop down Truffulas until he drives away the Brown Bar-ba-loots who had fed on the Tuffula fruit, the Swomee-Swans who can't sing a note for the smogulous smoke, and the Humming-Fish who had hummed in the pond now glumped up with Gluppity-Glupp. As for the Once-let, "1 went right on biggering, selling more Thneeds./ And I biggered my money, which everyone needs" — until the last Truffula falls. But one seed is left, and the Once-let hands it to his listener, with a message from the Lorax: "UNLESS someone like you/ cares a whole awful lot,/ nothing is going to get better./ It's not." The spontaneous madness of the old Dr. Seuss is absent here, but so is the boredom he often induced (in parents, anyway) with one ridiculous invention after another. And if the Once-let doesn't match the Grinch for sheer irresistible cussedness, he is stealing a lot more than Christmas and his story just might induce a generation of six-year-olds to care a whole lot.

Pub Date: Aug. 12, 1971

ISBN: 0394823370

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1971

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