This ode to imagination filled with potty humor should have readers laughing—or utterly grossed out.

READ REVIEW

PLUNGERMANIA!

A boy’s inventive celebration of plungers drives his parents to distraction in this debut picture book.

The story’s narrator, a pale boy with red hair, thinks plungers are just about the best thing ever created. His mother explains that they “squish things down and schluck them up,” but the narrator can think of so many more things they could be used for. In several wordless spreads, Punkinhead uses watercolor paints and ink drawings to depict the narrator’s adventures in plunging: as a superhero atop a slide, a deep-pool diver, a high jumper and a ceiling climber, a jouster and a juggler, a singer with a microphone, and (distressingly for those who know where plungers have usually been) a trickster with a mask. In a delightful turn on a theme, the narrator complains that grown-ups just aren’t very good at sharing. After he manages to stick the plunger to the television (after shooting it with a bow), his father takes it away for the last time. But not to worry—the boy soon finds a new tool to be fascinated with: a toilet brush. The bathroom humor is sure to appeal to young independent readers, who will find the vocabulary largely accessible (and might pick up a few new words, like “huzzah”). Punkinhead’s illustrations are vibrant and full of action. None of the characters have pupils in their solid white eyes, which takes some getting used to, but the narrator’s deviousness and the mother’s displeasure are palpable.

This ode to imagination filled with potty humor should have readers laughing—or utterly grossed out.

Pub Date: March 8, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5255-1427-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: FriesenPress

Review Posted Online: May 16, 2018

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An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some...

RALPH TELLS A STORY

With a little help from his audience, a young storyteller gets over a solid case of writer’s block in this engaging debut.

Despite the (sometimes creatively spelled) examples produced by all his classmates and the teacher’s assertion that “Stories are everywhere!” Ralph can’t get past putting his name at the top of his paper. One day, lying under the desk in despair, he remembers finding an inchworm in the park. That’s all he has, though, until his classmates’ questions—“Did it feel squishy?” “Did your mom let you keep it?” “Did you name it?”—open the floodgates for a rousing yarn featuring an interloping toddler, a broad comic turn and a dramatic rescue. Hanlon illustrates the episode with childlike scenes done in transparent colors, featuring friendly-looking children with big smiles and widely spaced button eyes. The narrative text is printed in standard type, but the children’s dialogue is rendered in hand-lettered printing within speech balloons. The episode is enhanced with a page of elementary writing tips and the tantalizing titles of his many subsequent stories (“When I Ate Too Much Spaghetti,” “The Scariest Hamster,” “When the Librarian Yelled Really Loud at Me,” etc.) on the back endpapers.

An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some budding young writers off and running. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2012

ISBN: 978-0761461807

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Amazon Children's Publishing

Review Posted Online: Aug. 22, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2012

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CINDERELLA

This companion piece to the other fairy tales Marcia Brown has interpreted (see Puss In Boots, 1952, p. 548 and others) has the smoothness of a good translation and a unique charm to her feathery light pictures. The pictures have been done in sunset colors and the spreads on each page as they illustrate the story have the cumulative effect of soft cloud banks. Gentle.

Pub Date: June 15, 1954

ISBN: 0684126761

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1954

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