TULIP AT THE BAT

The New York Pets square off against the Boston Beasts, with the usual result, in this very distant cousin to “Casey at the Bat.” It’s the bottom of the ninth, two outs, Boston up by one—but with Pets pitcher Armand Armand Octopus hugging second and corpulent outfielder Amanda Elephant really holding down first, up to the plate comes Tulip Hippo, with her “double stubble chins” and a pink tutu “held together by a dozen safety pins.” Unlike Casey, though, Tulip drills the pitch—so hard that it sinks into the ground in front of the plate, giving all three runners time to lumber home. As the line breaks in the last verse don’t come on the rhyming words, and Lewis has Tulip bunting while in the picture she’s swinging away, this strikes out on editorial attention to detail. However, Tulip, who is last seen waving triumphantly with her teammates through a blizzard of ticker tape, makes a fetching hero, and the outsized “WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS” message at the end will be music to the ears of New York fans everywhere. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 2007

ISBN: 0-316-61280-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 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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