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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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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MY TEACHER FOR PRESIDENT

Come November, lots of people would cast their vote for Oliver’s teacher—just the kind of secure, commanding, compassionate presence it would be good to see in the White House. Arranged by Brunkus in warmly agreeable two-page spreads—the left side depicting the teacher tending to her responsibilities at school, the right side showing her attending to the same qualities as chief executive—Oliver tells us of her fondness for white houses, that she likes to be followed about, likes to travel, knows how to keep the attention of her charges, doesn’t mind any number of meetings, and signs important documents. Then Winters ups the ante: this gray-haired, bespeckled wise soul also knows first-hand how to react to emergencies, handle health-care issues, is interested in finding people jobs, keeping the Earth clean, and knows—here’s the kicker—how to listen. It all starts so early, these fundamentals of a sensitive existence, and Winters makes the parallels simple to digest. Here’s a third-party candidate to get behind. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-525-47186-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2004

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