COME FLY WITH ME

A pair of toys perched on a Parisian windowsill decides to embark on an adventure. Cosmos, the wooden plane complains to his friend Woggy, a stuffed dog, that he has never been out of their playroom. Woggy, pointing at the white dome in the distance suggests, “That’s Somewhere,” and off they go, Woggy astride Cosmos. Their joy ride turns from fun to fright when they copy birds’ antics, flying figure eights, losing control and when, before they know it, blue skies have given way to dark growling clouds. They’re tossed and thrown, landing on the roof of the white-domed building they had seen from afar—the Sacré-Coeur. Their adventure concludes with the pair’s view of the Parisian cityscape, this time from atop a Sacré-Coeur gargoyle. Ichikawa’s illustrations convey a sense of place and energy, motion and exuberance, the plane and passenger on the cover heading into the story. The whirling propeller, blowing scarf, ears and paint blurred by air movement create an energy that conveys the character’s zest for adventure. Billowy white clouds fill pastel blue skies as the endpapers echo the circular form of the story. A deceptively simple adventure that will appeal to young children who complain they don’t go anywhere. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-399-24679-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2008

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

THE TALE OF HILDA LOUISE

Her parents having ``disappeared in the Swiss Alps,'' Hilda Louise lives with the other 109 residents of the affectionately named ``Chez Mez Petits Choux orphanage at 97, rue Saint-Julien-le- Pauvre, Paris.'' Through no particular longing or design of her own, Hilda Louise develops a ``newfound talent''—floating. One day she's simply swept away, escaping the boredom of the orphanage (``Already she had embroidered 2,357 handkerchiefs''), floating over a field where a painter has set up his easel, past the spires of Notre Dame, into the open window of the painter's studio. The painter turns out to be none other than her long-lost uncle. Hilda Louise gets a new home, while back at the orphanage another child hovers overhead. Dunrea (The Painter Who Loved Chickens, 1995, etc.) has created a tartly written fantasy that lacks any sense of motivation, but the paintings are among his finest ever. Like Madeline-through-the-looking-glass, the scenes are precise and magical at the same time. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 1996

ISBN: 0-374-37380-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1996

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A lightweight fear-dispeller, without the gun violence that now makes Mercer Mayer’s There’s a Nightmare in My Closet (1968)...

MONSTERS AREN'T REAL

Beaten down by a ubiquitous chorus of denials (see title), a monster suffers an existential crisis.

Surrounded by emphatic claims that it doesn’t even exist, a monster sets out not only to prove the contrary, but to establish its scariness credentials too. Alas, neither blasting the world with graffiti and printed fliers nor rearing up menacingly over a baby in a carriage, children at the barre in a ballet class and other supposedly susceptible victims elicits any response. Juggling some cows attracts attention but not the terrified kind. But the monster’s final despairing surrender—“That’s it! It’s over! I give up! ... /  Monsters aren’t real (sniff)”—triggers an indignant denial of a different sort from a second, smaller but wilder-looking, creature. It takes the first in hand and leads it off, declaring “We’re two big, strong, scary monsters, and we’ll prove it.” In truth, it won’t escape even very young readers that neither is particularly scary-looking. Indeed, the protagonist-monster is depicted in the sparsely detailed cartoon illustrations as a furry, almost cuddly, bearlike hulk with light-blue spots, antlers and comically googly eyes, certain to provoke more giggles than screams.

A lightweight fear-dispeller, without the gun violence that now makes Mercer Mayer’s There’s a Nightmare in My Closet (1968) so discomfiting. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: June 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-61067-073-9

Page Count: 44

Publisher: Kane Miller

Review Posted Online: May 2, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more