NO SUCH THING

Any child who has been convinced of the presence of a monster at bedtime will feel vindicated by this satisfying story from Koller (A Place to Call Home, 1995, etc.). During his first night in his new home, Howard is fearful of a monster he thinks is under the bed. His mother assures him there is none, and leaves. Meanwhile, under the bed, Monster's mother is reassuring him that there are no such things as boys, one of whom he is certain is on top of his bed. She tucks him in and leaves. After several similar confrontations, the exasperated mothers have had it, so the boy and the monster must deal with each other directly. Conquering their fears, each has a moment of hysterical laughter over the idea that he might eat the other. Then they hatch a terrific plan, trading places on the bed and calling upon their mothers one last time. Readers are left to guess how the mothers will react. The versatile Lewin works in flowing watercolors, a loose style that makes the overlap between the boy's and monster's worlds completely acceptable and intensifies the story's humor. This tautly told story in which two stern mothers get their comeuppances is irresistible. (Junior Library Guild selection) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 1997

ISBN: 1-56397-490-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1997

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TO MARKET, TO MARKET

A marketing trip from Miranda (Glad Monster, Sad Monster, p. 1309) that jiggity jigs off in time-honored nursery-rhyme fashion, but almost immediately derails into well-charted chaos. The foodstuffs—the fat pig, the red hen, the plump goose, the pea pods, peppers, garlic, and spice—are wholly reasonable in light of the author's mention of shopping at traditional Spanish mercados, which stock live animals and vegetables. Stevens transfers the action to a standard American supermarket and a standard American kitchen, bringing hilarity to scenes that combine acrylics, oil pastels, and colored pencil with photo and fabric collage elements. The result is increasing frazzlement for the shopper, an older woman wearing spectacles, hat, and purple pumps (one of which is consumed by her groceries). It's back to market one last time for ingredients for the hot vegetable soup she prepares for the whole bunch. True, her kitchen's trashed and she probably won't find a welcome mat at her supermarket hereafter, but all's well that ends well—at least while the soup's on. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-15-200035-6

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1997

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LAST DAY BLUES

From the Mrs. Hartwell's Classroom Adventures series

One more myth dispelled for all the students who believe that their teachers live in their classrooms. During the last week of school, Mrs. Hartwell and her students reflect on the things they will miss, while also looking forward to the fun that summer will bring. The kids want to cheer up their teacher, whom they imagine will be crying over lesson plans and missing them all summer long. But what gift will cheer her up? Numerous ideas are rejected, until Eddie comes up with the perfect plan. They all cooperate to create a rhyming ode to the school year and their teacher. Love’s renderings of the children are realistic, portraying the diversity of modern-day classrooms, from dress and expression to gender and skin color. She perfectly captures the emotional trauma the students imagine their teachers will go through as they leave for the summer. Her final illustration hysterically shatters that myth, and will have every teacher cheering aloud. What a perfect end to the school year. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2006

ISBN: 1-58089-046-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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