JUNE 29, 1999

A follow-up to Tuesday (Caldecott, 1992): This time it's flocks of gigantic vegetables wafting through the air, landing all over the US—turnips larger than trees in the Rockies, plane-sized artichokes in Anchorage, limas in Levittown. At first it seems to be the result of young Holly Evans' experiment—she launched seedlings (by balloon) "to study the effects of extraterrestrial conditions on vegetable growth''—but species are landing that she never sent up. The answer to the mystery makes an amusing conclusion; meanwhile, Wiesner has a lot of fun with details—imagine climbing a giant stalk of broccoli or roping down buoyant bell peppers, to say nothing of marketing these elephantine comestibles—and even more fun with the surreal visual effects. One of the best is some hilariously puzzled, slightly jaded sheep and a couple of Native American farmers investigating the canoe-sized pea-pods that have landed in what might be Monument Valley. The brief, tongue-in-cheek text is a plus for storytime, but these witty, wonderfully imaginative pictures reward closer study, too. Hurray for Wiesner, and his grand sense of humor! (Picture book. 5+)

Pub Date: Oct. 19, 1992

ISBN: 0-395-59762-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1992

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This story covers the few days preceding the much-anticipated Midnight Zombie Walk, when Stink and company will take to the...

STINK AND THE MIDNIGHT ZOMBIE WALK

From the Stink series

An all-zombie-all-the-time zombiefest, featuring a bunch of grade-school kids, including protagonist Stink and his happy comrades.

This story covers the few days preceding the much-anticipated Midnight Zombie Walk, when Stink and company will take to the streets in the time-honored stiff-armed, stiff-legged fashion. McDonald signals her intent on page one: “Stink and Webster were playing Attack of the Knitting Needle Zombies when Fred Zombie’s eye fell off and rolled across the floor.” The farce is as broad as the Atlantic, with enough spookiness just below the surface to provide the all-important shivers. Accompanied by Reynolds’ drawings—dozens of scene-setting gems with good, creepy living dead—McDonald shapes chapters around zombie motifs: making zombie costumes, eating zombie fare at school, reading zombie books each other to reach the one-million-minutes-of-reading challenge. When the zombie walk happens, it delivers solid zombie awfulness. McDonald’s feel-good tone is deeply encouraging for readers to get up and do this for themselves because it looks like so much darned fun, while the sub-message—that reading grows “strong hearts and minds,” as well as teeth and bones—is enough of a vital interest to the story line to be taken at face value.

Pub Date: March 13, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7636-5692-8

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2012

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THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW

A wonderful retelling of the classic tale, handled with confidence and aplomb in Moses's first book. Here again is the lovelorn, greedy Ichabod; the dismissive Katrina; the loutish Brom Bones; and the headless horseman in all his pumpkin-wielding glory. Moses is true to the original while rendering the story appropriate for a younger audience: Everything from the gawky advances of Ichabod to the flirtatious Katrina, from Bones's pranksterish retaliations to the final electric encounter with the night rider is deftly, elementally, served forth. The sumptuous illustrations are perfectly wedded to the words, be they grand two-page spreads or the small painterly evocations lavishly decorating the text. Look closely: Lurking within the folksy artwork, with its overall primitive look, is an extraordinarily sophisticated technique enriched by an inspired use of color. A top-drawer adaptation, lovely and true. (Picture book/folklore. 6+)

Pub Date: Aug. 25, 1995

ISBN: 0-399-22687-7

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1995

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