The reminder to play at all ages is important, but one wishes if kids did rule the world there might be an element of...

IF KIDS RULED THE WORLD

From the expected to the surreal, Bailey imagines a world where kids make the rules.

Of course, every day would be your birthday, and of course, birthday cake would be good for you. You’d never have to make your bed, and if you wanted to travel, just take a pirate ship—or a rocket! In a world where kids decide what is best, Bailey presumes that everyone would want to be a prince or a princess and own a pet kangaroo, elephant or grizzly bear. Baths would not be mandatory, and you could wear whatever you want, even underwear on your head. Most of the suppositions are fairly mundane, but a few inventive moments sneak in—such as, all the sidewalks would be trampolines. The narrative’s final effort at justifying these silly, high-spirited rules is to say that “no one would ever forget how to / PLAY! / No way!” Huyck’s detailed, digital illustrations stretch the light tone even farther. Kids of all ethnicities crowd the pages, often in separate, humorous vignettes tucked within the backgrounds.

The reminder to play at all ages is important, but one wishes if kids did rule the world there might be an element of idealism as well, not just whimsy. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-55453-591-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: June 18, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2014

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THE GRUFFALO

The action of this rhymed and humorous tale centers upon a mouse who "took a stroll/through the deep dark wood./A fox saw the mouse/and the mouse looked good." The mouse escapes being eaten by telling the fox that he is on his way to meet his friend the gruffalo (a monster of his imagination), whose favorite food is roasted fox. The fox beats a hasty retreat. Similar escapes are in store for an owl and a snake; both hightail it when they learn the particulars: tusks, claws, terrible jaws, eyes orange, tongue black, purple prickles on its back. When the gruffalo suddenly materializes out of the mouse's head and into the forest, the mouse has to think quick, declaring himself inedible as the "scariest creature in the deep dark wood," and inviting the gruffalo to follow him to witness the effect he has on the other creatures. When the gruffalo hears that the mouse's favorite food is gruffalo crumble, he runs away. It's a fairly innocuous tale, with twists that aren't sharp enough and treachery that has no punch. Scheffler's funny scenes prevent the suspense from culminating; all his creatures, predator and prey, are downright lovable. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: June 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-8037-2386-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1999

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Fun enough once through, but not much more.

THE SPAGHETTI-SLURPING SEWER SERPENT

A pint-sized sleuth tracks a purple underground monster.

When Mom scrapes the family's uneaten spaghetti into the sink, young Sammy Sanders hears strange slurping sounds. He becomes "77 percent convinced" that a spaghetti-slurping serpent lives in his sewer, and can't get to sleep. The next morning, Sammy and his little sister Sally investigate. There are meatballs and strands of limp spaghetti around the manhole cover! Sammy, whose round glasses make the whites of his eyes look as enormous as an owl's, can barely contain his excitement. After he removes the cover, Sally slips on some sauce and lands in the sewer, becoming a smelly sludgy mess. Sammy's left to investigate alone and comes up with a brilliant idea. Late that night, he sneaks out of the house with a salty snack for himself and a bowl of spaghetti for the serpent. But he falls asleep, and the huge serpent slithers up to the scrumptious spaghetti. Slurping sounds startle Sammy awake; he's face-to-face with the monster. There's just one thing to do: Share! Sammy' salty snack earns him a friend for life. And that night, he sleeps soundly, 100% sure that there's a serpent in his sewer. Zenz's illustrations, in Prismacolor colored pencil, look generic, but Ripes' yarn has pace and phonetic crackle.

Fun enough once through, but not much more.    (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7614-6101-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Marshall Cavendish

Review Posted Online: Feb. 29, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2012

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