DOWN BY THE STATION

Hillenbrand takes license with the familiar song (the traditional words and music are reproduced at the end) to tell an enchanting story about baby animals picked up by the train and delivered to the children’s zoo. The full-color drawings are transportingly jolly, while the catchy refrain—“See the engine driver pull his little lever”—is certain to delight readers. Once the baby elephant, flamingo, panda, tiger, seal, and kangaroo are taken to the zoo by the train, the children—representing various ethnic backgrounds, and showing one small girl in a wheelchair—arrive. This is a happy book, filled with childhood exuberance. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-15-201804-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1999

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ALTOONA BABOONA

That Bynum comes up with so many lines to rhyme with “Altoona Baboona” deserves some kind of acclaim, even if the rhymes make readers laugh and groan at the same time. Altoona Baboona is an ape that “gets bored on her dune-a,” hops a “hot air balloon-a” and goes south to “Calcun-a.” On her hot air travels Altoona meets up with a loon-a and a racoon-a, who come back to the dune-a for an evening bonfire and roasted marshmallows. Bynum’s watercolors have a breezy ocean air feel to them, as light and buoyant as her simian heroine. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-15-201860-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1999

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DREAM JOURNEY

Eduar (Jooka Saves the Day, 1997, etc.) composes here a classic dreamtime walkabout, a wonder quest, that starts when Anatole the bactrian camel begins to read from his “ancient book” and the boy Jules drifts off to sleep between the camel’s humps. Anatole is on the move, swimming the Southern Sea, surfing through crashing breakers, getting lost in the jungle outside Quito, scaling peaks, outrunning lightning. All the while, Jules snoozes peacefully away. Eduar catches the action in rhyme, one sentence to a page, with Anatole’s dashing feats on the left, and Jules’s torpor noted on the right: “Anatole rides bravely along a wire from the trees./Jules is kissed by an orchid-scented breeze.” The artwork is up to the energy and the exoticism of the tale, with great cymbal-crashes of vivid color conjuring a thunderstorm, a foaming sea, a busy street. Despite such charged images, the book works as a lullaby: Jules may bounce around the world, but still he slumbers on. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-531-30202-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Orchard

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1999

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