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

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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Readers who (inexplicably) find David Lawrence’s Pickle and Penguin (2004) just too weird may settle in more comfortably...

LOST AND FOUND

A lad finds a penguin on his doorstep and resolutely sets out to return it in this briefly told import. 

Eventually, he ends up rowing it all the way back to Antarctica, braving waves and storms, filling in the time by telling it stories. But then, feeling lonely after he drops his silent charge off, he belatedly realizes that it was probably lonely too, and turns back to find it. Seeing Jeffers’s small, distant figures in wide, simply brushed land- and sea-scapes, young viewers will probably cotton to the penguin’s feelings before the boy himself does—but all’s well that ends well, and the reunited companions are last seen adrift together in the wide blue sea. 

Readers who (inexplicably) find David Lawrence’s Pickle and Penguin (2004) just too weird may settle in more comfortably with this—slightly—less offbeat friendship tale. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-399-24503-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2005

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