Amelia Bedelia may come to mind, but Mrs. Jolly Bones’ unconventional behavior reflects her originality and flair rather...

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IT'S MONDAY, MRS. JOLLY BONES!

Mrs. Jolly Bones has a chore for every day of the week…but readers can be sure they’ve never done chores quite the way she does.

“It’s Monday, Mrs. Jolly Bones. / There’s laundry to be done. // So gather up the dirty clothes / and sort them, one by one. // Wash them, / dry them, / iron them, / and fold them nice and neat. / Then fling them out the window… // so they brighten up the street!” Tuesday is gardening day—Mrs. Jolly Bones takes care of her balcony garden…and then “polka[s] through the posy patch” with brio. Cleaning the house is on the docket for Wednesday, finishing with a bath in a most unusual place. Thursday’s shopping day—quite a list!—while Friday is for baking. Saturday’s for play, er wrestling, and Sunday is a day to rest. Tusa’s watercolor-and-ink illustrations are largely grayscale with splashes of pastel-colored highlights. While Mrs. Jolly Bones’ approach calls for energetic illustration, the busy spreads are perhaps too chaotic, and small things get lost on the pages. This is a shame, as the small things add so much delight: Mrs. Jolly Bones has a menagerie of animals that surround/help her.

Amelia Bedelia may come to mind, but Mrs. Jolly Bones’ unconventional behavior reflects her originality and flair rather than a lack of intelligence; would that more people flaunt their individuality…but maybe not in the toilet. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 19, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4424-1229-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 16, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2013

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Pair this with Leo Timmers’ Who Is Driving? (2007) for twice the guessing fun.

CLOTHESLINE CLUES TO JOBS PEOPLE DO

From the Clothesline Clues series

Heling and Hembrook’s clever conceit challenges children to analyze a small town’s clotheslines to guess the job each of their owners does. 

Close-up on the clothesline: “Uniform and cap, / an invite for you. / Big bag of letters. / What job does she do?” A turn of the page reveals a macro view of the home, van and the woman doing her job, “She is a mail carrier.” Indeed, she can be spotted throughout the book delivering invitations to all the rest of the characters, who gather at the end for a “Launch Party.” The verses’ rhymes are spot-on, though the rhythm falters a couple of times. The authors nicely mix up the gender stereotypes often associated with several of these occupations, making the carpenter, firefighter and astronaut women. But while Davies keeps uniforms and props pretty neutral (he even avoids U.S. mail symbols), he keeps to the stereotypes that allow young readers to easily identify occupations—the farmer chews on a stalk of wheat; the beret-wearing artist sports a curly mustache. A subdued palette and plain white backgrounds keep kids’ focus on the clothing clues. Still, there are plenty of details to absorb—the cat with arched back that anticipates a spray of water, the firefighter who “lights” the rocket.

Pair this with Leo Timmers’ Who Is Driving? (2007) for twice the guessing fun. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: July 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-58089-251-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: May 16, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2012

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THE GRUFFALO

The action of this rhymed and humorous tale centers upon a mouse who "took a stroll/through the deep dark wood./A fox saw the mouse/and the mouse looked good." The mouse escapes being eaten by telling the fox that he is on his way to meet his friend the gruffalo (a monster of his imagination), whose favorite food is roasted fox. The fox beats a hasty retreat. Similar escapes are in store for an owl and a snake; both hightail it when they learn the particulars: tusks, claws, terrible jaws, eyes orange, tongue black, purple prickles on its back. When the gruffalo suddenly materializes out of the mouse's head and into the forest, the mouse has to think quick, declaring himself inedible as the "scariest creature in the deep dark wood," and inviting the gruffalo to follow him to witness the effect he has on the other creatures. When the gruffalo hears that the mouse's favorite food is gruffalo crumble, he runs away. It's a fairly innocuous tale, with twists that aren't sharp enough and treachery that has no punch. Scheffler's funny scenes prevent the suspense from culminating; all his creatures, predator and prey, are downright lovable. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: June 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-8037-2386-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1999

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