TED

A more-or-less imaginary friend brings a lonely boy and his distracted father together in this heavy-handed but slapstick romp from the author/illustrator of Jimmy Zangwow's Out-of-This-World Moon Pie Adventure (2000). Looking like a cross between a flop-eared John Goodman and Jabba the Hut, Ted saunters into the unnamed young narrator's life, and proceeds to instigate more chaos than the Cat in the Hat ever dreamed of. After helping to spatter the bathroom with shaving cream, "illustrate" the living-room walls, and create an indoor swimming pool in the study, Ted retreats from Dad's wrath to a nearby playground. The boy soon follows, to wonder why grownups have forgotten to have fun, and to learn that Ted was his father's playmate too, years ago. In due time, Dad shows up, and with the help of an old toy dredges up half-forgotten memories—after which all go back home for "one mean game of space-pirates-Monopoly-Twister!" Owing equal debts to Norman Rockwell and Mad Magazine, DiTerlizzi's polished, carefully detailed illustrations feature nerdy-looking humans and wild swirls of domestic disaster, with Ted, invisible to Dad but looking just as solid and real, mugging hugely and providing a mottled, pink focal point. It's not exactly subtle, but children may find its exaggerations appealing. (Picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: April 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-689-83235-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2001

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Eeney meeney miney moe, catch this series before it goes! (Adventure. 7-9)

DANGER! TIGER CROSSING

From the Fantastic Frame series , Vol. 1

Two kids get up close and personal with some great works of art in this first in a new series.

Tiger Brooks is used to his little sister’s fantastical stories. So when the top-hatted orange pig she describes turns out to be not only real, but a next-door neighbor, Tiger enlists the help of his kooky new friend, Luna, to investigate. It turns out the pig works for the reclusive painter Viola Dots. Years ago a magical picture frame swallowed up her only son, and she’s searched for him in artworks ever since. When Tiger’s tinkering starts the magic up again, he and Luna are sucked into a reproduction of Henri Rousseau’s Surprised! or Tiger in a Tropical Storm, hungry predator and all. After meeting and failing to rescue Viola’s son in this adventure, the series is set up for the intrepid pair to infiltrate other classic paintings in the future. Backmatter provides information on the real Rousseau and his life. Oliver keeps the plot itself snappy and peppy. While there are few surprises, there’s also an impressive lack of lag time. This is helped in no small part by Kallis’ art, which goes from pen-and-ink drawings to full-blown color images once the kids cross over into the painting. Tiger is a white boy, and Luna is a dark-haired Latina.

Eeney meeney miney moe, catch this series before it goes! (Adventure. 7-9)

Pub Date: April 26, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-448-48087-9

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2016

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I WANNA IGUANA

In epistolary dialogue with his mom, a lad yearning for an iguana tries various approaches, from logic and sweet talk to emotional blackmail. His mother puts up a valiant defense—“Dear Mom: Did you know that iguanas are really quiet and they’re cute too. I think they are much cuter than hamsters. Love, your adorable son, Alex.” “Dear Alex: Tarantulas are quiet too”—before ultimately capitulating. Catrow’s scribbly, lurid, purple-and-green illustrations bring the diverse visions of parent and child to hilarious life, as a lizard of decidedly indeterminate ancestry grows in stages to the size of a horse, all the while exhibiting a doglike affection toward its balloon-headed prospective keeper—who is last seen posed by a new terrarium, pumping a fist in victory. A familiar domestic interchange, played out with broad comedy—and mutual respect, too. (Picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-399-23717-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2004

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