BEDTIME!

Children, to whom the questions of where and how people sleep are so important, will snuggle right up to this fascinating study of “beds.” Swain compares bedtime customs from around the world and through history, covering hammocks, berths, sleeping bags, cradles, and more; she addresses sleeping in zero gravity, and napping while hanging from a rope on a mountain climbing expedition. The historical tidbits will intrigue, too: that families of the Middle Ages slept together in the same bed (without clothes!); that ancient Egyptians depended on mosquito netting to get some shut-eye; that Chinese children had animal-shaped pillows with big eyes, to watch out for them at night. Swain’s text is conversational and fairly inclusive, while Smith’s illustrations keep the bluster out of the subject by providing plenty of humor. Children will be up all night poring over her scenes, which are packed with informative details, settings, and props. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 1999

ISBN: 0-8234-1444-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1999

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ISAAC THE ICE CREAM TRUCK

Newcomer Santoro’s story of the ice cream truck that pined for a more important role in life suffers from a premise that’s well-worn and still fraying—the person or object that longs to be something “more” in life, only to find out that his or its lot in life is enough, after all. Isaac the ice cream truck envies all the bigger, larger, more important vehicles he encounters (the big wheels are depicted as a rude lot, sullen, surly, and snarling, hardly a group to excite much envy) in a day, most of all the fire trucks and their worthy occupants. When Isaac gets that predictable boost to his self-image—he serves up ice cream to over-heated firefighters after a big blaze—it comes as an unmistakable putdown to the picture-book audience: the children who cherished Isaac—“They would gather around him, laughing and happy”—weren’t reason enough for him to be contented. Santoro equips the tale with a tune of Isaac’s very own, and retro scenes in tropical-hued colored pencil that deftly convey the speed of the trucks with skating, skewed angles. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-8050-5296-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1999

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PAULINE

Pauline (32 pp.; $16.00; Oct. 5; 0-374-35758-7) The illustrator of Kate Banks’s many books (The Bird, the Monkey, and the Snake in the Jungle, p. 62, etc,) goes solo for a tale that proves children’s suspicion that bigger isn’t always better. Pauline, a fuzzy-eared weasel, is an unlikely heroine, but her courage and dramatic talents combine to save her best friend Rabusius the elephant, trapped by hunters. The thick bold lines and lush colors of the illustrations infuse the story with an excitement and immediacy that will appeal to preschoolers. The spreads are presented from a weasel’s-eye-view are particularly captivating and reinforce Pauline’s small stature and mighty impact. (Picture book. 3-6.)

Pub Date: Oct. 5, 1999

ISBN: 0-374-35758-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1999

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