JIMMY ZANGWOW'S OUT-OF-THIS-WORLD MOON PIE ADVENTURE

A lad's quest for a classic snack takes him to distant corners of the universe in this retroflavored, roller coaster picture book debut. When Mom rejects his plea for a moon pie, Jimmy soars off into space in his homemade race car/rocket ship, taking on a thousand moon pies from the Man in the Moon, dipping gallons of milk from the Milky Way, then reluctantly but gamely sharing it all, after a crash landing, with 999 hungry Martians and a peckish monster with a loudly rumbling tummy. In red cowboy boots and aviator goggles, sporting freckles and a gap toothed grin, Jimmy looks like a living Howdy Doody, with his jalopy, made from crates and buggy wheels, the Martians, who look like tops with bright blue heads, and other features of his elaborately detailed surroundings of like vintage. In the end, Martians and monster repay Jimmy's generosity by constructing a moon pie wrapper balloon that floats him home in time for dinner (Brussels-sproutnoodlebean casserole) and, (yes!) guess what for dessert. DiTerlizzi pays visual homage to a gallery of illustrators from Arthur Rackham to Mercer Mayer, and gives his intrepid protagonist an infectious look of wide-eyed excitement. Tempt fans of David Wiesner's Sector 7 (1999) and William Joyce's books with this highflying, lipsmacking adventure. (Picture book. 79)

Pub Date: April 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-689-82215-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2000

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ABIYOYO RETURNS

The seemingly ageless Seeger brings back his renowned giant for another go in a tuneful tale that, like the art, is a bit sketchy, but chockful of worthy messages. Faced with yearly floods and droughts since they’ve cut down all their trees, the townsfolk decide to build a dam—but the project is stymied by a boulder that is too huge to move. Call on Abiyoyo, suggests the granddaughter of the man with the magic wand, then just “Zoop Zoop” him away again. But the rock that Abiyoyo obligingly flings aside smashes the wand. How to avoid Abiyoyo’s destruction now? Sing the monster to sleep, then make it a peaceful, tree-planting member of the community, of course. Seeger sums it up in a postscript: “every community must learn to manage its giants.” Hays, who illustrated the original (1986), creates colorful, if unfinished-looking, scenes featuring a notably multicultural human cast and a towering Cubist fantasy of a giant. The song, based on a Xhosa lullaby, still has that hard-to-resist sing-along potential, and the themes of waging peace, collective action, and the benefits of sound ecological practices are presented in ways that children will both appreciate and enjoy. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-689-83271-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2001

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A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift.

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BECAUSE I HAD A TEACHER

A paean to teachers and their surrogates everywhere.

This gentle ode to a teacher’s skill at inspiring, encouraging, and being a role model is spoken, presumably, from a child’s viewpoint. However, the voice could equally be that of an adult, because who can’t look back upon teachers or other early mentors who gave of themselves and offered their pupils so much? Indeed, some of the self-aware, self-assured expressions herein seem perhaps more realistic as uttered from one who’s already grown. Alternatively, readers won’t fail to note that this small book, illustrated with gentle soy-ink drawings and featuring an adult-child bear duo engaged in various sedentary and lively pursuits, could just as easily be about human parent- (or grandparent-) child pairs: some of the softly colored illustrations depict scenarios that are more likely to occur within a home and/or other family-oriented setting. Makes sense: aren’t parents and other close family members children’s first teachers? This duality suggests that the book might be best shared one-on-one between a nostalgic adult and a child who’s developed some self-confidence, having learned a thing or two from a parent, grandparent, older relative, or classroom instructor.

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943200-08-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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