Doesn’t cover particularly new nude territory, but children equally enthralled with going out in their altogethers will...

NAKED!

One boy’s birthday suit gets a bit of a workout in this heartfelt paean to going au naturel.

Having tackled ennui in I’m Bored (2012), Black and Ohi reunite in this tale of one boy’s determination to encounter the world totally barrier-free. Finding himself without clothing in the bath, the pink-skinned lad waxes eloquent on the freedom of the flesh. He zips around the house, smugly crowing and then dreaming of what it would be like to be naked 24/7. He may deign to wear some clothing, so long as it’s a cape, but that’s as clothed as he’ll go. That is, until it becomes clear that, if nothing else, clothes are useful in preventing you from freezing your tuchis off. Black’s tale is interesting not so much for its content, which has been done before, as for the sheer joy the young nudist exhibits. In fact, it may go so far as to persuade more straight-laced children to try the lifestyle out for themselves. As for the art, squeamish parents needn’t fear. Ohi appears so reticent to show true nudity that her boy doesn’t exhibit so much as a butt crack. (But that won’t stop little listeners from giggling.)

Doesn’t cover particularly new nude territory, but children equally enthralled with going out in their altogethers will appreciate the enthusiasm here. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: May 6, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-6738-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 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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