THIS IS THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT

Caldecott Medalist and Honoree Taback (Joseph Had a Little Overcoat, 1999, etc.) has outdone himself with deeply colorful, intricately detailed and witty mixed-media illustrations of each figure in this familiar cumulative tale: cheese, rat, cat, dog, cow, maid, man, judge, rooster, and newly added artist. The fun starts with the endpapers, inventively printed with illustrations of houses accompanied by real-estate ads. Each subsequent spread includes clever extras like labels indicating how smelly various cheeses are, pictures of different breeds of cats (some real, some imaginary—like Felix, of cartoon fame) and humorous descriptions of their temperaments, and a particularly hilarious cow with its parts noted: “tail,” “loin,” “chuck,” “Big Mac.” The hand-drawn, frenetic typeface in colors contrasting with the background adds even more energy to the retelling, which is straightforward and traditional until the very end. The back cover is a spoof of an advertisement for tools “Recommended by Jack” and lists punny, whimsical names for the tools. An author’s note mentions general origins of the rhyme and explains who the mystery artist is; it turns out to be Randolph Caldecott himself, “who first had drawn a picture of the farmer. . . .” Adults in the know will enjoy pointing out his identity to children, but the joke will be lost on those not familiar with the history of children’s literature. (Picture book. 4+)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2002

ISBN: 0-399-23488-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2002

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The book is perfect for read-alouds, with occasional, often onomatopoeic Spanish words such as “quiquiriquí,” “tacatac” and...

WAITING FOR THE BIBLIOBURRO

Inspired by Colombian librarian Luis Soriano Bohórquez, Brown’s latest tells of a little girl whose wish comes true when a librarian and two book-laden burros visit her remote village.

Ana loves to read and spends all of her free time either reading alone or to her younger brother. She knows every word of the one book she owns. Although she uses her imagination to create fantastical bedtime tales for her brother, she really wants new books to read. Everything changes when a traveling librarian and his two donkeys, Alfa and Beto, arrive in the village. Besides loaning books to the children until his next visit, the unnamed man also reads them stories and teaches the younger children the alphabet. When Ana suggests that someone write a book about the traveling library, he encourages her to complete this task herself. After she reads her library books, Ana writes her own story for the librarian and gives it to him upon his reappearance—and he makes it part of his biblioburro collection. Parra’s colorful folk-style illustrations of acrylics on board bring Ana’s real and imaginary worlds to life. This is a child-centered complement to Jeanette Winter’s Biblioburro (2010), which focuses on Soriano.

The book is perfect for read-alouds, with occasional, often onomatopoeic Spanish words such as “quiquiriquí,” “tacatac” and “iii-aah” adding to the fun.   (author’s note, glossary of Spanish terms) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: July 12, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-58246-353-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tricycle

Review Posted Online: June 6, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2011

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With comically realistic black-and-white illustrations by Selznick (The Robot King, 1995, etc.), this is a captivating...

FRINDLE

Nicholas is a bright boy who likes to make trouble at school, creatively. 

When he decides to torment his fifth-grade English teacher, Mrs. Granger (who is just as smart as he is), by getting everyone in the class to replace the word "pen'' with "frindle,'' he unleashes a series of events that rapidly spins out of control. If there's any justice in the world, Clements (Temple Cat, 1995, etc.) may have something of a classic on his hands. By turns amusing and adroit, this first novel is also utterly satisfying. The chess-like sparring between the gifted Nicholas and his crafty teacher is enthralling, while Mrs. Granger is that rarest of the breed: a teacher the children fear and complain about for the school year, and love and respect forever after. 

With comically realistic black-and-white illustrations by Selznick (The Robot King, 1995, etc.), this is a captivating tale—one to press upon children, and one they'll be passing among themselves. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-689-80669-8

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1996

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