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CHALK & CHEESE by Tim Warnes


by Tim Warnes & illustrated by Tim Warnes

Age Range: 4 - 6

Pub Date: Oct. 21st, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-4169-1378-8
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

A white dog named Chalk and a cheerful British mouse named Cheese explore New York City together in this well-intentioned but confusing story. A dual design makes the story inherently difficult to follow, as it presents both a brief narrative in an omniscient viewpoint and a cartoon-panel format with speech balloons, requiring repeated awkward shifting between perspectives. The effort might appeal to those few preschoolers who know both England and New York City, but most children will need explanations of such New York references as the subway, King Kong and Rockefeller, as well as clarification of the British expression of dissimilar items going together “like chalk and cheese.” Though the watercolor-and-pencil illustrations have a humorous appeal, there is a rather frantic air to the volume in general, exemplified by multiple exclamation marks and words in dialogue rendered in all capital letters. While adult readers who have traveled with little ones will empathize with the indulgent Chalk, its appeal to children is less clear. (Picture book. 4-6)