PSSST!

As if more proof were needed that Adam Rex has a strange and goofy mind, here’s a visit to a meta-fictional zoo with some uncommonly crafty residents. Strolling past the “Camel-Lot,” a narwhal in a giant snow globe, signs that identify the “Walrus (koo-koo-kachoo)” or point the way back to page four and many other sight gags, a child receives quiet requests from the animals for such unlikely items as tires, trashcans, paint, flashlights, corn (“We don’t want to EAT the corn,” says the turkey virtuously. “We want to turn it into a clean-burning fuel.”) and bicycle helmets. Placing nearly all of the text in dialogue balloons, and setting figures rendered in a range of styles from photorealistic to transparent outline within a mix of sequential panels and full-page scenes, Rex gives the whole episode a surreal, expect-anything feel. This perfectly suits the climactic full-spread view of the animals making their break aboard a hot-rod assembled from the just-delivered parts. Endpaper maps expertly matched to the pastedown flaps sandwich this gleefully postmodern romp. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-15-205817-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2007

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MERCY WATSON GOES FOR A RIDE

She’s back! Mercy, the porcine wonder, is back in all her buttered-toast eating glory. It’s Saturday, time for a ride in the pink convertible. But, does Mercy like to ride or drive? Drive! Only Mrs. Watson’s promise of extra helpings of hot buttered toast can get this clever pig to scoot across the front seat and enjoy the weekly adventure. And when next-door neighbor Baby Lincoln hankers for a little adventure of her own, the fun really begins. From the toast icons that surround the page numbers, to faux-tape spine, and hilariously gaudy over-the-top illustrations, this is a throw-back in the best sense of the word. When Mercy ends up sitting on top of Mr. Watson in the driver’s seat and Baby has to crawl over the seat to help out, it’s hard not to think of Lucy, Ethel and Ricky caught in another pickle. All’s well that ends well, of course, and that means everyone can celebrate with a stack of toast and an extra pat of butter. (Fiction. 6-8)

Pub Date: June 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-7636-2332-6

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2006

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Readers who (inexplicably) find David Lawrence’s Pickle and Penguin (2004) just too weird may settle in more comfortably...

LOST AND FOUND

A lad finds a penguin on his doorstep and resolutely sets out to return it in this briefly told import. 

Eventually, he ends up rowing it all the way back to Antarctica, braving waves and storms, filling in the time by telling it stories. But then, feeling lonely after he drops his silent charge off, he belatedly realizes that it was probably lonely too, and turns back to find it. Seeing Jeffers’s small, distant figures in wide, simply brushed land- and sea-scapes, young viewers will probably cotton to the penguin’s feelings before the boy himself does—but all’s well that ends well, and the reunited companions are last seen adrift together in the wide blue sea. 

Readers who (inexplicably) find David Lawrence’s Pickle and Penguin (2004) just too weird may settle in more comfortably with this—slightly—less offbeat friendship tale. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-399-24503-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2005

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