Kirkus Reviews QR Code
WHERE DOES JOE GO? by Tracey Campbell Pearson


by Tracey Campbell Pearson

Pub Date: Oct. 19th, 1999
ISBN: 0-374-38319-7
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

A sprightly set of illustrations from the always inventive Pearson (The Purple Hat, 1997, etc.) offer hints on one of the biggest mysteries of the ages—Saint Nick’s summer job. Joe comes to town each spring to open up Joe’s Snack Bar, selling hot dogs, ice cream, and fries to an enthusiastic and varied summertime public. Every fall, he disappears, and folks wonder where he goes. Breaking into rhyme, the townspeople offer various scenarios: “ ‘He’s gone to the moon!’/cried tiny June,” or having tea with the queen, “whispered Molly McLeen” or off to the pyramids, “yelled all the Biddy kids.” Each spread is full of friendly colors and the wiggly details of people, places, and cats. Joe and his trademark food items appear in each, too, with nibbles tossed to the alligators in Okefenokee or the dolphins from a cruise ship. Joe returns, of course, the following spring, red-checked, round-bellied, and with a full white beard. Just in case readers still don’t know how he spends the winters, the last, wordless page offers a can’t-miss clue, and the reindeer like ice cream, too. (Picture book. 3-7)