THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

Extraordinary pop-ups transform white paper into exquisite sculpture, turning an overplayed carol into an array of ingenious gifts. Following the format he established in The Christmas Alphabet (1994), Sabuda (Arthur and the Sword, 1995, etc.) uses the song's lyrics as a springboard for astonishing feats of paper engineering. The three French hens become Christmas tree ornaments; the five gold rings show up on the antlers of a reindeer; other fabled gifts turn up in just as creative and unexpected places: Seven swans and snowflakes swirl in a snow globe, eleven dancing ballerinas appear inside a jewelry box, and nine mice pitter-patter their feet across the head of a snare drum. Every verse is garnished with a poetic twist, and the movement of the pop-up creations are part of the poetry: Some open as large and majestic as Amaryllis blooms; others rely on small swirls of snowflakes or interwoven mouse tails for their elegance of motion. The white cut-outs are backed with rich, bright colors, like snow sculptures displayed against bright holiday lights. A holiday treasure that, with careful use, will become an heirloom. (Pop-up. 3+)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-689-80865-8

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1996

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ROSES ARE PINK, YOUR FEET REALLY STINK

The annual classroom exchange of valentines is the backdrop for this engaging story about retaliation. Gilbert remembers how hurt he felt when Lewis tweaked his nose and when Margaret made fun of his glasses. So when he's faced with 15 blank valentine cards, each one waiting for a poem, he decides to hurt them in return. ``Roses are red, you wet your bed. I think that you have rocks in your head,'' goes to Margaret (he signs it ``Lewis''), while Lewis's card carries the sentiments of the book's title (Gilbert signs that one ``Margaret''). Gilbert feels remorse, however, upon receiving pleasant valentines from both of them, and his regret is compounded when his deceit is discovered and he is shunned by the class. An apology and two new poems from Gilbert patch things up in time for the Valentine's Day party. These hazardous waters of handing out valentines are negotiated by a cast of animals whose emotional toils will closely mirror readers' own. DeGroat pens a sympathetic look at the small hurts in life and the importance of second chances. (Picture book. 5+)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-688-13604-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 1995

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Sweet, reassuring fun—and a story to fully embrace.

SLUG IN LOVE

A slug longs for a hug and finds it unexpectedly.

Doug the slug would really like a hug and plods on, seeking affection. But a caterpillar, bug, spider, and worm want no part of hugging a slug. They are just not feeling it (might they feel sluggish?), voicing their disdain in no uncertain terms with expressions like, “Grimy, slippy!” and “Squelchy, slimy!” What’s a slug to do? Undeterred, Doug keeps trying. He meets Gail, a snail with crimson lipstick and hip, red glasses; she happens to be as grimy and squelchy as he is, so he figures she is the hugger of his dreams. The two embark upon a madcap romantic courtship. Alas, Gail also draws the (slimy) line at hugging Doug. Finally, mournful Doug meets the best hugger and the true love of his life, proving there’s someone for everyone. This charmer will have readers rooting for Doug (and perhaps even wanting to hug him). Expressed in simple, jaunty verses that read and scan smoothly, the brief tale revolves around words that mainly rhyme with Doug and slug. Given that the story stretches vocabulary so well with regard to rhyming words, children can be challenged after a read-aloud session to offer up words that rhyme with slug and snail. The colorful and humorous illustrations are lively and cheerful; googly-eyed Doug is, like the other characters, entertaining and expressive. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Sweet, reassuring fun—and a story to fully embrace. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Dec. 14, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-66590-046-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2021

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