BOBBY THE BOLD

An ostracized ape earns acceptance by becoming—what else?—a hairdresser in this cheery mother-daughter collaboration. Bobby resembles a chimp but he’s actually a bonobo, which make him different enough to be ignored by the rest of his simian zoo-mates. One night he escapes, boarding a bus that lets him off in front of the “Hair by Pierre” salon. Emerging with a Mohawk and a tube of gel, he returns to the zoo and becomes an instant celebrity, not only for his own dashing ’do, but for the various styles he bestows on all the chimps. Hoyt illustrates with slashing brushwork and fine-lined inking, capturing Bobby’s unflagging energy as well as accurately rendering the hand signs he uses to communicate with a favored zoo keeper and other humans. Readers will have to comb library shelves to find a spirit as bold and irrepressible as this bonobo’s—and the bow he takes on the back cover is well-deserved. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: May 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-8037-2990-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2006

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THE SNAIL AND THE WHALE

Like an ocean-going “Lion and the Mouse,” a humpback whale and a snail “with an itchy foot” help each other out in this cheery travelogue. Responding to a plaintive “Ride wanted around the world,” scrawled in slime on a coastal rock, whale picks up snail, then sails off to visit waters tropical and polar, stormy and serene before inadvertently beaching himself. Off hustles the snail, to spur a nearby community to action with another slimy message: “SAVE THE WHALE.” Donaldson’s rhyme, though not cumulative, sounds like “The house that Jack built”—“This is the tide coming into the bay, / And these are the villagers shouting, ‘HOORAY!’ / As the whale and the snail travel safely away. . . .” Looking in turn hopeful, delighted, anxious, awed, and determined, Scheffler’s snail, though tiny next to her gargantuan companion, steals the show in each picturesque seascape—and upon returning home, provides so enticing an account of her adventures that her fellow mollusks all climb on board the whale’s tail for a repeat voyage. Young readers will clamor to ride along. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-8037-2922-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2004

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MERCY WATSON FIGHTS CRIME

Mercy is back in this fun third installment of merrymaking, buttered-toast eating, and crime solving. When she’s awakened by the sound of the toaster being dragged across the counter, she discovers a cowboy named Leroy walking off with a sackful of kitchen loot. Exhaustion gets the better of the porcine wonder and she settles down for a nap while Leroy settles down to some serious stealing. When Leroy opens up a butter-barrel candy, our butter-loving heroine wakes and gives Leroy a pig-bronco ride as she searches for the source of the butter smell. Of course, neighbors Eugenia and Baby Lincoln get in on the act and soon the firefighters and Officer Tomilello do too. A snack of toast with a great deal of butter follows for all. Silly crime-solving for the growing number of Mercy’s young fans moving on from easy readers. (Fiction. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-7636-2590-6

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2006

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