THE SHOEMAKER EXTRAORDINAIRE

Wildly terpsichorean collages, constructed from patterned cloth and paper cutouts decorated with bright paint and shoe-sole prints, illustrate this original tale of a clever itinerant cobbler and a nearsighted giant. Sporting long, serpentine limbs that flail across the pages, Hans Crispin waltzes into town offering shoes that reinvigorate the weary, give their wearers height and style, make work easier—and threaten to put the local cobbler out of business. So the cobbler challenges Hans to shoe Barefootus, an irascible giant more likely to eat visitors than welcome them. Correctly diagnosing the giant’s complaint that he can’t find his garden or livestock, Hans craftily whips up footwear with big magnifying glasses, and instantly makes a huge, new, purple friend. Light (Puss in Boots, 2002) writes in formal folklorish—“Once upon a time there was a man named Hans Crispin who traveled throughout the land,” etc.—that stands in sharp, but all in all pleasing, contrast to the art’s extravagant forms and colors. High marks for energy. (author’s note) (Picture book. 7-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2003

ISBN: 0-8109-4236-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2003

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A BUSY DAY AT THE GARAGE

A rural, pleasantly ramshackle garage is the setting for this lively book. Each spread features the station and its forecourt, with a flurry of activity accompanying each turn of the page: The garage opens up for the day; a bashed-in car arrives; a brief squall soaks a lady, her swain, and their tony convertible. Over it all presides Mr. Fingers, a harmlessly gangsterish type in striped trousers and white jacket. Dupasquier (Andy's Pirate Ship, 1994, etc.) keeps the text quick, simple, and hand-in-glove with the illustrations (``Mick and Mack start to work on Mr. Walker's car. Pete serves the first customer''). These watercolors are equally nimble, deliberately cartoonish in the linework and saturated colors. The front and rear flap covers fold out with an array of questions and puzzles pertaining to the story. Bright, boisterous, fun; for children who take to the format, there are two companion volumes: A Busy Day at the Airport (ISBN 1-56402-591-8) and A Busy Day at the Building Site (592-6). (Picture book. 4+)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1996

ISBN: 1-56402-590-X

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 1995

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PEACH HEAVEN

Yangsook believes that peach orchards in her part of Korea are the best part of Puchon, because a peach garden is a piece of heaven. But when a horrific hailstorm plucks the entire peach crop and miraculously rains them down into the neighborhood, just as it did in August 1976, how is it that these delicate, delicious morsels are unharmed, and what is to be done with them? A surprised town, knee-deep in flood waters, is relishing the mouth-watering peaches, but have not yet asked the next question, as they are busy rescuing the bobbing fruits. It is little Yangsook, empowered by her love of peaches and community who honors her beliefs by enlightening her neighbors as to what should be done. Yangsook’s vision of peace and harmony mirrors Choi’s personal experiences, and her thoughtful main character embodies the same pensive tone found in the soft brownish-greenish peachy palate, making the whole experience one tasty bite. (Picture book. 7-8)

Pub Date: May 6, 2005

ISBN: 0-374-35761-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Frances Foster/Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2005

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