THE DREAM SHOP

In her second book, Kenah (Eggs Over Easy, 1993) tells the story of a little girl named Pip who travels in her dream to a strange sort of store first suggested by her cousin, Joseph. The dream locale is a tiny shop from the outside, but once inside, in that surrealistic manner of all dreams, the huge shelves stretch on and on endlessly, filled with every sort of magical reverie from sweet dreams (a boxed sunset) to nightmares (“knots of snakes” and “racks of bad report cards”). Joseph joins Pip in her dream, and together they push their shopping carts down the aisles of the dream supermarket until they discover a baby dragon that sets off on a rampage around the store, unleashing thunder, hailstones, and hurricanes. The kids corral the dragon with the lure of their boxed sunset and a treasure map (handily labeled with the phrase “Here be dragons”), and Pip awakens back in her farmland home with that familiar old it-was-all-a-dream ending. Impressionistic paintings effectively capture the shifting, nebulous feel of the dream setting. The oversized format with double-page spreads make this a good choice for reading aloud in a group setting as well as a bibliotherapeutic balm for kids with scary dreams of their own. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2002

ISBN: 0-688-17900-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2001

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SEE PIP POINT

From the Adventures of Otto series

In his third beginning reader about Otto the robot, Milgrim (See Otto, 2002, etc.) introduces another new friend for Otto, a little mouse named Pip. The simple plot involves a large balloon that Otto kindly shares with Pip after the mouse has a rather funny pointing attack. (Pip seems to be in that I-point-and-I-want-it phase common with one-year-olds.) The big purple balloon is large enough to carry Pip up and away over the clouds, until Pip runs into Zee the bee. (“Oops, there goes Pip.”) Otto flies a plane up to rescue Pip (“Hurry, Otto, Hurry”), but they crash (and splash) in front of some hippos with another big balloon, and the story ends as it begins, with a droll “See Pip point.” Milgrim again succeeds in the difficult challenge of creating a real, funny story with just a few simple words. His illustrations utilize lots of motion and basic geometric shapes with heavy black outlines, all against pastel backgrounds with text set in an extra-large typeface. Emergent readers will like the humor in little Pip’s pointed requests, and more engaging adventures for Otto and Pip will be welcome additions to the limited selection of funny stories for children just beginning to read. (Easy reader. 5-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2003

ISBN: 0-689-85116-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2003

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NOT A BOX

Dedicated “to children everywhere sitting in cardboard boxes,” this elemental debut depicts a bunny with big, looping ears demonstrating to a rather thick, unseen questioner (“Are you still standing around in that box?”) that what might look like an ordinary carton is actually a race car, a mountain, a burning building, a spaceship or anything else the imagination might dream up. Portis pairs each question and increasingly emphatic response with a playscape of Crockett Johnson–style simplicity, digitally drawn with single red and black lines against generally pale color fields. Appropriately bound in brown paper, this makes its profound point more directly than such like-themed tales as Marisabina Russo’s Big Brown Box (2000) or Dana Kessimakis Smith’s Brave Spaceboy (2005). (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-06-112322-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2006

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