DANCE BY THE LIGHT OF THE MOON

The invitation reads, “Can’t you come out tonight and dance by the light of the moon?” Buffalo Flo, in her elegant bow, rounds up the other farm gal invitees, Gertie May Goose, Cassie Sue Cat and Patty Ann Pig, for the “surprise” event. They arrive all gussied up only to find that the men folk are late for their toe-tapping date. Surprise! It’s Farmer Snow’s barnyard party thanking the animals for all they do. Ryder literally takes the chorus of “Buffalo Gals” and spins off an amusing rhyming tale. The cartoon illustrations playfully depict the gals and guys “puttin’ on the ritz” with visual puns and clever accents, e.g. the magazine on Patty Ann Pig’s couch is In Sty. Adults may notice some missteps in the rhymes and a puzzling reference in the blurb to Farmer Snow’s “annual” party that seems inconsistent with the surprise buildup, but kids will enjoy the story as another silly farm-animal book, without knowing the song or its origin. Overall, the conceit is clever even though it stumbles a bit. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2007

ISBN: 0-7868-1820-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2006

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TACKY AND THE WINTER GAMES

Lester’s Tacky is tacky, though he is even more a Society of Oddfellows unto himself, a pleasing misfit among his righteous penguin cohort of Goodly, Lovely, Angel, Neatly and Perfect. Tacky is joyously oblivious of their rectitude as they prepare for the penguin Winter Games, pumping iron and skipping rope as Tacky catches a few zzz’s and equips his exer-cycle with a horn and tassels, chows pizza and donuts as the others dutifully swallow their spinach (and Munsinger is perfect here, easily capturing both sniffyness and unbridled appetite). Tacky unintentionally subverts the rules of the Games, winning but losing as officials disqualify his unorthodox stratagems. Finally, his team grabs a victory despite the fact that Tacky ate the baton. A citizen of the deep cold, it’s another Frost that Tacky emulates, the one who recommends the road not taken. Tacky, the clueless role model, takes it all the time. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 24, 2005

ISBN: 0-618-55659-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Walter Lorraine/Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2005

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Sweet fare for bed- or naptimes, with a light frosting of natural history.

WOODLAND DREAMS

A sonorous, soporific invitation to join woodland creatures in bedding down for the night.

As in her Moon Babies, illustrated by Amy Hevron (2019), Jameson displays a rare gift for harmonious language and rhyme. She leads off with a bear: “Come home, Big Paws. / Berry picker / Honey trickster / Shadows deepen in the glen. / Lumber back inside your den.” Continuing in the same pattern, she urges a moose (“Velvet Nose”), a deer (“Tiny Hooves”), and a succession of ever smaller creatures to find their nooks and nests as twilight deepens in Boutavant’s woodsy, autumnal scenes and snow begins to drift down. Through each of those scenes quietly walks an alert White child (accompanied by an unusually self-controlled pooch), peering through branches or over rocks at the animals in the foregrounds and sketching them in a notebook. The observer’s turn comes round at last, as a bearded parent beckons: “This way, Small Boots. / Brave trailblazer / Bright stargazer / Cabin’s toasty. Blanket’s soft. / Snuggle deep in sleeping loft.” The animals go unnamed, leaving it to younger listeners to identify each one from the pictures…if they can do so before the verses’ murmurous tempo closes their eyes.

Sweet fare for bed- or naptimes, with a light frosting of natural history. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 27, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4521-7063-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 1, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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