A compilation of Mother Goose's finest, winsomely illustrated and gently annotated, Gliori's (The Very Small, 2000, etc.) collection of more than 50 rhymes features such classics as “Yankee Doodle,” “Jack Sprat,” and “Peter Piper,” and includes a sprinkling of less-common ditties such as “Little Tommy Tucker” and “See-Saw, Margery Daw.” Gliori also offers full-length versions of poems more widely known in their truncated form. “Old Mother Hubbard,” reprinted with a whopping 12 stanzas, reveals more of the delightful insouciance associated with Mother Goose than the traditional six-line stanza; while Mother Hubbard traipses about acquiring food for her dog, the erstwhile pooch reads the paper, dances a jig, and smokes a pipe. The combination of Gliori's beguiling artwork and her fascinating tidbits of information about the rhymes transforms the collection beyond the ordinary, making it a notable addition to the genre. A blend of history, folklore, and factual information, Gliori's gambits are decidedly kid-friendly. Readers learn that Tom, the piper's son, did not in fact purloin a swine but stole a pastry instead. Likewise, the “Little Maid, Pretty Maid”’s suitor was not looking to milk the cow but marry his sweetheart. Each two-page spread features either a single poem or a pair of loosely related rhymes accompanied by full-color illustrations that range from full-bleed to whimsically bordered pictures. The background information, cleverly worked into each spread, is set apart by a smaller typeset and a color photograph of a relevant object—offering inquisitive readers the fun of seeking out the tidbits within the larger illustrations. A captivating collection for young children. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-7894-6678-3

Page Count: 64

Publisher: DK Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2001

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Though this celebration of community is joyful, there just is not much here.


A sugary poem, very loosely based on the familiar song, lacks focus.

Using only the refrain from the original (“One love, one heart, let’s get together and feel all right!”), the reggae great’s daughter Cedella Marley sees this song as her “happy song” and adapts it for children. However, the adaptation robs it of life. After the opening lines, readers familiar with the original song (or the tourism advertisement for Jamaica) will be humming along only to be stopped by the bland lines that follow: “One love, what the flower gives the bee.” and then “One love, what Mother Earth gives the tree.” Brantley-Newton’s sunny illustrations perfectly reflect the saccharine quality of the text. Starting at the beginning of the day, readers see a little girl first in bed, under a photograph of Bob Marley, the sun streaming into her room, a bird at the window. Each spread is completely redundant—when the text is about family love, the illustration actually shows little hearts floating from her parents to the little girl. An image of a diverse group getting ready to plant a community garden, walking on top of a river accompanies the words “One love, like the river runs to the sea.”

Though this celebration of community is joyful, there just is not much here. (afterword) (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Oct. 5, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4521-0224-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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This book wants to be feminist.

Princess Penelope Pineapple, illustrated as a white girl with dark hair and eyes, is the Amelia Bloomer of the Pineapple Kingdom. She has dresses, but she prefers to wear pants as she engages in myriad activities ranging from yoga to gardening, from piloting a plane to hosting a science fair. When it’s time for the Pineapple Ball, she imagines wearing a sparkly pants outfit, but she worries about Grand Lady Busyboots’ disapproval: “ ‘Pants have no place on a lady!’ she’d say. / ‘That’s how it has been, and that’s how it shall stay.’ ” In a moment of seeming dissonance between the text and art, Penny seems to resolve to wear pants, but then she shows up to the ball in a gown. This apparent contradiction is resolved when the family cat, Miss Fussywiggles, falls from the castle into the moat and Princess Penelope saves her—after stripping off her gown to reveal pink, flowered swimming trunks and a matching top. Impressed, Grand Lady Busyboots resolves that princesses can henceforth wear whatever they wish. While seeing a princess as savior rather than damsel in distress may still seem novel, it seems a stretch to cast pants-wearing as a broadly contested contemporary American feminist issue. Guthrie and Oppenheim’s unimaginative, singsong rhyme is matched in subtlety by Byrne’s bright illustrations.

Skip it . (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4197-2603-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

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