DO YOU WANT TO PLAY?

A BOOK ABOUT BEING FRIENDS

Where Dave Ross’s and Laura Rader’s A Book of Friends (p. 537) faltered, Kolar’s big, gregarious book succeeds; it’s the ideal size for covering the giant topic of friendship. The pages are rife with drawings, while the text is a collage of tips, captions, and declarations. The spreads show a pageant of the things friends do: bike-riding, dancing, sending messages, and playing musical instruments. The downside of friendship shows up, too, for fights break out and sometimes people just need to be alone. Such general concepts are the playground for Kolar’s parade of silly pictures. “Check me out!” says a checker board, doffing his hat, while on another page a flower explains, “My friends picked me.” The endpapers are alive with stick people, juggling, sweeping, and eating gigantic ice cream cones. A board game breaks up the text by contributing concepts about friendship, e.g., “Stick out your tongue at someone/Lose a turn,” while a separate tale within the pages offers children a mini-storytime. The book is so bright and full of drolleries that children may pore over it for hours, and will return to these pages often. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: May 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-525-45938-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1999

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DAVID GOES TO SCHOOL

The poster boy for relentless mischief-makers everywhere, first encountered in No, David! (1998), gives his weary mother a rest by going to school. Naturally, he’s tardy, and that’s but the first in a long string of offenses—“Sit down, David! Keep your hands to yourself! PAY ATTENTION!”—that culminates in an afterschool stint. Children will, of course, recognize every line of the text and every one of David’s moves, and although he doesn’t exhibit the larger- than-life quality that made him a tall-tale anti-hero in his first appearance, his round-headed, gap-toothed enthusiasm is still endearing. For all his disruptive behavior, he shows not a trace of malice, and it’ll be easy for readers to want to encourage his further exploits. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-590-48087-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1999

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NO MATTER WHAT

Small, a very little fox, needs some reassurance from Large in the unconditional love department. If he is grim and grumpy, will he still be loved? “ ‘Oh, Small,’ said Large, ‘grumpy or not, I’ll always love you, no matter what.’ “ So it goes, in a gentle rhyme, as Large parries any number of questions that for Small are very telling. What if he were to turn into a young bear, or squishy bug, or alligator? Would a mother want to hug and hold these fearsome animals? Yes, yes, answers Large. “But does love wear out? Does it break or bend? Can you fix it or patch it? Does it mend?” There is comfort in Gliori’s pages, but it is a result of repetition and not the imagery; this is a quick fix, not an enduring one, but it eases Small’s fears and may well do the same for children. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-15-202061-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1999

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