HUMBLE PIE

A dynamite union of a debut author with a veteran illustrator teaches a wry lesson with a unique scheme. Theo was not a good boy. Although his parents spoiled him rotten, he didn’t appreciate anything. He never did chores or gave the dog a bite of food. And he ruined the strawberries for Baby Tom’s birthday cake by splattering them all over. One day, right after the berry incident, he finds his grandmother rolling out a pie crust bigger than a bedsheet and wonders what it is for. His grandmother says a little rhyme, “Flour, butter, salt say I, / Berries, cherries, pile them high, / Hush now, mother, don’t you sigh / Let the boy eat Humble Pie.” Just as Theo reaches in to pull out a plum, his grandmother deftly crimps the edges and seals him in the pie. He rolls away, and passes some schoolmates, who remember his meanness and won’t get him out. He rolls home, but everyone is celebrating Baby Tom’s birthday and the dog and cat roll him down a hill. He lands in a poor starving village, and they decide to bake the pie. Theo is truly terrified, but the baker stumbles while putting the pie in a huge oven, and Theo pops out. He races home, does the chores, pets the dog and cat, and chops the wood. “Looks to me like the boy got his just desserts,” says his grandmother. And the pie lasts the poor village for a year. Gammell’s (The Burger and the Hot Dog, 2001, etc.) unmistakable illustrations, full of mischief and all of his splattery details, hold just the right amount of waggish exaggeration and expression, and suit the antic wit of the telling perfectly. Yum. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2002

ISBN: 0-689-84435-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Richard Jackson/Atheneum

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2002

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

ABIYOYO RETURNS

The seemingly ageless Seeger brings back his renowned giant for another go in a tuneful tale that, like the art, is a bit sketchy, but chockful of worthy messages. Faced with yearly floods and droughts since they’ve cut down all their trees, the townsfolk decide to build a dam—but the project is stymied by a boulder that is too huge to move. Call on Abiyoyo, suggests the granddaughter of the man with the magic wand, then just “Zoop Zoop” him away again. But the rock that Abiyoyo obligingly flings aside smashes the wand. How to avoid Abiyoyo’s destruction now? Sing the monster to sleep, then make it a peaceful, tree-planting member of the community, of course. Seeger sums it up in a postscript: “every community must learn to manage its giants.” Hays, who illustrated the original (1986), creates colorful, if unfinished-looking, scenes featuring a notably multicultural human cast and a towering Cubist fantasy of a giant. The song, based on a Xhosa lullaby, still has that hard-to-resist sing-along potential, and the themes of waging peace, collective action, and the benefits of sound ecological practices are presented in ways that children will both appreciate and enjoy. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-689-83271-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2001

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

HELLO, HARVEST MOON

As atmospheric as its companion, Twilight Comes Twice, this tone poem pairs poetically intense writing with luminescent oils featuring widely spaced houses, open lawns, and clumps of autumnal trees, all lit by a huge full moon. Fletcher tracks that moon’s nocturnal path in language rich in metaphor: “With silent slippers / it climbs the night stairs,” “staining earth and sky with a ghostly glow,” lighting up a child’s bedroom, the wings of a small plane, moonflowers, and, ranging further afield, harbor waves and the shells of turtle hatchlings on a beach. Using creamy brushwork and subtly muted colors, Kiesler depicts each landscape, each night creature from Luna moths to a sleepless child and her cat, as well as the great moon sweeping across star-flecked skies, from varied but never vertiginous angles. Closing with moonset, as dawn illuminates the world with a different kind of light, this makes peaceful reading either in season, or on any moonlit night. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 2003

ISBN: 0-618-16451-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2003

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more