When it comes to whiff, no substitute for The Stinky Cheese Man or Garrison Keillor and Anne Wilsdorf’s Old Man Who Loved...

READ REVIEW

THE WORLD-FAMOUS CHEESE SHOP BREAK-IN

A cheese shop makes an irresistible target for a bandit rat and his only slightly less avid offspring.

“It was stuffed full of cheese stinkier than old socks. The smell was yummy in our tummies!” Unfortunately, Daddypops’ enthusiasm outweighs his ability to concoct a successful scheme. Following ill-conceived efforts to slip in through the front door and to catapult the young narrator through a very hard display window, a near-disastrous bit of tunneling brings three dirty, wet, weary rats up at last—into the underwear boutique next door. Discouraged at last, Daddypops decides to buy stinky cheese henceforth rather than try to steal it. So he takes up the suggestion of his practical-minded daughter, Shanice, to open his own store—selling gaudy underthings for rats. Shaw gleefully produces comical scenes of the hapless trio of masked, pointy-nosed would-be burglars engaged in incompetent malefaction; Daddypops is clad in a black-and-white striped wife beater, perhaps a souvenir from a previous residence. The story is capped by a parade of rodent customers proudly sporting garish skivvies, and endpaper arrays of labeled cheeses add a nice touch.

When it comes to whiff, no substitute for The Stinky Cheese Man or Garrison Keillor and Anne Wilsdorf’s Old Man Who Loved Cheese (1996) but gouda for a few chuckles. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-84780-430-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2015

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A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends

WAITING IS NOT EASY!

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Gerald the elephant learns a truth familiar to every preschooler—heck, every human: “Waiting is not easy!”

When Piggie cartwheels up to Gerald announcing that she has a surprise for him, Gerald is less than pleased to learn that the “surprise is a surprise.” Gerald pumps Piggie for information (it’s big, it’s pretty, and they can share it), but Piggie holds fast on this basic principle: Gerald will have to wait. Gerald lets out an almighty “GROAN!” Variations on this basic exchange occur throughout the day; Gerald pleads, Piggie insists they must wait; Gerald groans. As the day turns to twilight (signaled by the backgrounds that darken from mauve to gray to charcoal), Gerald gets grumpy. “WE HAVE WASTED THE WHOLE DAY!…And for WHAT!?” Piggie then gestures up to the Milky Way, which an awed Gerald acknowledges “was worth the wait.” Willems relies even more than usual on the slightest of changes in posture, layout and typography, as two waiting figures can’t help but be pretty static. At one point, Piggie assumes the lotus position, infuriating Gerald. Most amusingly, Gerald’s elephantine groans assume weighty physicality in spread-filling speech bubbles that knock Piggie to the ground. And the spectacular, photo-collaged images of the Milky Way that dwarf the two friends makes it clear that it was indeed worth the wait.

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends . (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9957-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

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Superficially appealing; much less so upon closer examination.

TOO MANY CARROTS

When Rabbit’s unbridled mania for collecting carrots leaves him unable to sleep in his cozy burrow, other animals offer to put him up.

But to Rabbit, their homes are just more storage space for carrots: Tortoise’s overstuffed shell cracks open; the branch breaks beneath Bird’s nest; Squirrel’s tree trunk topples over; and Beaver’s bulging lodge collapses at the first rainstorm. Impelled by guilt and the epiphany that “carrots weren’t for collecting—they were for SHARING!” Rabbit invites his newly homeless friends into his intact, and inexplicably now-roomy, burrow for a crunchy banquet. This could be read (with some effort) as a lightly humorous fable with a happy ending, and Hudson’s depictions of carrot-strewn natural scenes, of Rabbit as a plush bunny, and of the other animals as, at worst, mildly out of sorts support that take. Still, the insistent way Rabbit keeps forcing himself on his friends and the magnitude of the successive disasters may leave even less-reflective readers disturbed. Moreover, as Rabbit is never seen actually eating a carrot, his stockpiling looks a lot like the sort of compulsive hoarding that, in humans, is regarded as a mental illness.

Superficially appealing; much less so upon closer examination. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 11, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62370-638-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Capstone Young Readers

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2015

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