THE DEMONS’ MISTAKE

A STORY FROM CHELM

No one has ever claimed that demons were clever. And demons from Chelm, that legendary town of fools, are as foolish as foolish can be. Of course, to illustrate this, the foolishness of the people must first be demonstrated. First one trick then another is played on the townspeople. But it seems demons are as gullible as people are. So when they hear that in America the streets are paved with gold, nothing will do but that they must depart immediately. Although they can fly, it’s awfully far, and “what will prevent us from flying off the edge of the earth?” Of all the demons, only Zereda thinks ships are too slow. She will fly to America. All of the others climb into a crate that will be shipped. What a voyage they have, trapped inside a crate that’s nailed shut! They learn one thing—demons can get seasick! And when they get to America, they learn that crates need an address or they will never be delivered. Fifty years pass before they’re finally let out! Coping with modern-day America, the demons must make some serious adjustments. Here their old tricks go unnoticed or are simple annoyances of life. Zereda has been working on this, however, and is quick to show them what to do in this modern world. Now we know who’s really responsible for all the gossip in the newspapers, the traffic tie-ups, and the glitches in computers. Podwal and Prose have worked together before: The Angel’s Mistake (1997), etc. As usual, Podwal’s quirky illustrations are perfectly suited to Prose’s subtle humor, capturing the essence rather than the specifics of details. Perfectly silly. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 31, 2000

ISBN: 0-688-17565-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2000

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While this is not an essential purchase, most little pumpkins will love being told, “Baby, I'm batty for you!” (Board book....

YOU ARE MY PUMPKIN

Young children won't understand the metaphors but will appreciate the sentiment made clear by the repeated, Halloween-themed declarations of love in Wan's latest board book.

Each of the seven spreads presents an endearment illustrated by an object drawn with heavy outlines and just enough detail to invoke its essential characteristics. Lest it become too maudlin, between the “sugary, sweet candy corn” and a “purr-fect, cuddly kitty” is a “wild, messy monster.” Wan manages to make each drawing expressive and distinctive while relying on just a few shapes—crescents or circles for eyes, dots or ovals accenting cheeks. Although each spread stands alone, there are quiet connections. For example, the orange of the pumpkin is repeated in the candy corn, and the purple that adorns kitty's hat and bow becomes the prominent color on the next spread, setting off the friendly white ghost nicely. The same purple is used for the spider's body on the next to last spread. Subtle, shadowed backgrounds repeat the patterns found elsewhere in the book. For example, the background of the page with the kitty includes pumpkins, hearts, and hats and bows like the ones kitty is wearing.

While this is not an essential purchase, most little pumpkins will love being told, “Baby, I'm batty for you!” (Board book. 6 mos.-3)

Pub Date: June 28, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-545-88092-3

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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GINGERBREAD MOUSE

What kind of house would be best for a mouse? This well-equipped rodent has a complete wardrobe, furniture, and even her own sled and backpack. Bratun’s detailed paintings introduce a cute mouse character whose cozy home in a tree is ruined by a falling branch. She decamps to a nearby home and takes up residence in their gingerbread house, making new furnishings out of household materials. On Christmas Eve, Santa provides her with an even better home in a furnished dollhouse, and the little girl of the house leaves her a gingerbread mouse cookie as a present on Christmas morning. Little girls who like miniatures and dollhouses will enjoy this simple story, with three different houses full of tiny details. Includes a recipe for gingerbread cookies. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2003

ISBN: 0-06-009080-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2003

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