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

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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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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Fun enough once through, but not much more.

THE SPAGHETTI-SLURPING SEWER SERPENT

A pint-sized sleuth tracks a purple underground monster.

When Mom scrapes the family's uneaten spaghetti into the sink, young Sammy Sanders hears strange slurping sounds. He becomes "77 percent convinced" that a spaghetti-slurping serpent lives in his sewer, and can't get to sleep. The next morning, Sammy and his little sister Sally investigate. There are meatballs and strands of limp spaghetti around the manhole cover! Sammy, whose round glasses make the whites of his eyes look as enormous as an owl's, can barely contain his excitement. After he removes the cover, Sally slips on some sauce and lands in the sewer, becoming a smelly sludgy mess. Sammy's left to investigate alone and comes up with a brilliant idea. Late that night, he sneaks out of the house with a salty snack for himself and a bowl of spaghetti for the serpent. But he falls asleep, and the huge serpent slithers up to the scrumptious spaghetti. Slurping sounds startle Sammy awake; he's face-to-face with the monster. There's just one thing to do: Share! Sammy' salty snack earns him a friend for life. And that night, he sleeps soundly, 100% sure that there's a serpent in his sewer. Zenz's illustrations, in Prismacolor colored pencil, look generic, but Ripes' yarn has pace and phonetic crackle.

Fun enough once through, but not much more.    (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7614-6101-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Marshall Cavendish

Review Posted Online: Feb. 29, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2012

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