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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Though this celebration of community is joyful, there just is not much here.

ONE LOVE

A sugary poem, very loosely based on the familiar song, lacks focus.

Using only the refrain from the original (“One love, one heart, let’s get together and feel all right!”), the reggae great’s daughter Cedella Marley sees this song as her “happy song” and adapts it for children. However, the adaptation robs it of life. After the opening lines, readers familiar with the original song (or the tourism advertisement for Jamaica) will be humming along only to be stopped by the bland lines that follow: “One love, what the flower gives the bee.” and then “One love, what Mother Earth gives the tree.” Brantley-Newton’s sunny illustrations perfectly reflect the saccharine quality of the text. Starting at the beginning of the day, readers see a little girl first in bed, under a photograph of Bob Marley, the sun streaming into her room, a bird at the window. Each spread is completely redundant—when the text is about family love, the illustration actually shows little hearts floating from her parents to the little girl. An image of a diverse group getting ready to plant a community garden, walking on top of a river accompanies the words “One love, like the river runs to the sea.”

Though this celebration of community is joyful, there just is not much here. (afterword) (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Oct. 5, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4521-0224-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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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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