TOESTOMPER AND THE CATERPILLARS by Sharleen Collicott

TOESTOMPER AND THE CATERPILLARS

Age Range: 3 - 7
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Cuddly illustrations accompany a weak, pointless story of one character’s transition from tough guy to tenderheart. Toestomper and his friends the Rowdy Ruffians, a rough-and-tough band of rodent and reptile characters, like to act “mean, rude, and disgusting.” When Toestomper stumbles upon a bush of caterpillars, he stomps the bush flat, leaving the caterpillars homeless. Toestomper’s change of heart is without logic or motivation; he uncharacteristically offers them water and a soft bed, and adopts them as new friends, to the disgust of his longtime pals. The mixed message of the finale implies that Toestomper and his new pals always cheat at cards in order to beat the Rowdy Ruffians. The mediocre thinking behind the story outweighs any charm found in the illustrations; the contrast between the cozy, pet-like animals and their bullying behavior is funny, but it’s an effect that is wasted here. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-395-91168-0
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 1999