AMOS JELLYBEAN GETS IT RIGHT

Amos Jellybean knows he’s bright (his mum says so), but he still always seems to scramble the many instructions he’s given: “So I . . . take my bed downstairs, put it on the table, sit down on my breakfast and eat my clothes.” Further communication breakdowns result in wearing his bag on his head, washing his rubber duck and ending up with a stomach-turning concoction (think pickled strudel) generated by a lunchtime bout of swapping. The mix-ups are fun and funny, but they start to wear thin towards the end. In addition, Walsh’s choppy, crazy collage artwork and design (reminiscent of Lauren Child’s) fail to maximize the humor of Amos’s rampant mangling of instructions—partly because the illustrations and layouts are so stylized it’s difficult to visualize the scenarios at hand. In the end, as the title foretells, Amos finally follows his commands to a T; he remembers to put on his pyjamas (British spellings abound), clean his teeth, choose a bedtime story and all—and the big, bold, full-page question mark that precedes the story is now an emphatic exclamation point as he proudly proclaims, “I did it!” (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-340-88222-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books/Trafalgar

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2005

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A DOG NAMED SAM

A book that will make young dog-owners smile in recognition and confirm dogless readers' worst suspicions about the mayhem caused by pets, even winsome ones. Sam, who bears passing resemblance to an affable golden retriever, is praised for fetching the family newspaper, and goes on to fetch every other newspaper on the block. In the next story, only the children love Sam's swimming; he is yelled at by lifeguards and fishermen alike when he splashes through every watering hole he can find. Finally, there is woe to the entire family when Sam is bored and lonely for one long night. Boland has an essential message, captured in both both story and illustrations of this Easy-to-Read: Kids and dogs belong together, especially when it's a fun-loving canine like Sam. An appealing tale. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-8037-1530-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1996

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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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