A whimsical kaleidoscope of watercolor and gouache illustrations whets the appetite of voracious children eating their way through breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner, and dessert in 16 delectable, poetic menu choices. The table of contents labeled “Today’s Menu” serves every kid’s favorites—aromatic, baked cinnamon buns, macaroni and cheese, wiggly Jell-o, crispy potato chips, and sandwich cookies. Table manners, though listed, are quickly dismissed as boring. “Mango” will induce juice to drip down your chin and “Pasta Perfect” will clarify all of those different pastas and their uses. The artist’s note describes for a child’s benefit how the illustrations were conceived and produced (a mixture of painting and various ways of creating textures). Together, the poetry and illustrations fit tightly, like a sandwich cookie—meant for each other and yummy to the core! (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-689-81755-X

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2000

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This Old MacDonald’s not much fun. E-I-E-I-O.


Snape and Steele give readers a modern twist.

Old MacDonald is a going-gray-around-the-temples beige-skinned man with a black husband and a beige-skinned baby. When his husband drives off in the morning, MacDonald is left in charge of the child with help from his pets—and eventually the entire barnyard, as with each stanza a new animal joins the action. Steele’s bright, cartoon-style illustrations sell the zaniness of a new dad’s day. They elevate the story as bipedal animals assist the harried dad with the increasing chaos, but they can’t save it. Snape’s word choice often fights the tempo of the song, and the few moments of alliteration may create tongue-twisters during read-alouds: “And for that baby he sang a song, / E-I-E-I-O. / With a boom-boom here, / And a crash-bang there, // Here’s a clap, there’s a whack, / Everywhere’s a raucous ruckus!” The constantly changing language—so different from the song’s patterning—makes it impossible for a child or a group of children to sing along. The joy of “Old MacDonald” is the call-and-response opportunity offered with each additional animal. What does a goat say again? In this version, adults may chuckle at the memory of the frantic early years, but children will feel frustrated that they have limited moments to join in the fun. It sinks some really good illustrations.

This Old MacDonald’s not much fun. E-I-E-I-O. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-30281-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: Aug. 26, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

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PLB 0-06-027918-4 In a tongue-tangling word-romp, London (Hip Cat, 1993, etc.) invites children to “jump right in, to swirl and spin” with the animal-attendees of his sock hop. This swinging party features cool cats, whirling rabbits, frolicking dogs, cavorting mice, and springing frogs, all grooving in half-tugged socks. London combines the deeply satisfying sounds of drums and keyboards with the upbeat be-bop of the sax to create a book that, when read out loud (at story hours or anytime), rivals the cadence of rhythm and blues. Working in confident, vivid colors, Cole sets out a playful visual introduction to musical instruments; the scenes are fairly bursting with joyful dancers who are so engaging that joining the hip-hop hoppin’ may be the only way to go. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 29, 2000

ISBN: 0-06-027917-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 1999

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