It’s an exuberant reminder to dream big, although, sadly, Hoban’s text has been Americanized, losing some of its flavor.

ROSIE'S MAGIC HORSE

A little girl finds a discarded ice-pop stick, triggering a surprising adventure in this rib-tickling fantasy.

When Rosie discovers a used ice-pop stick, she automatically adds it to the cigar box housing her collection of other ice-pop sticks. The other sticks whine they are “nothing” without their frozen confections, but the sassy new stick boldly asserts he could be something, “maybe a horse.” At bedtime, Rosie wishes for a treasure chest to help her parents pay their bills while her fingers arrange the sticks into a horse shape. Midnight arrives, and Rosie awakens when a horse named “Stickerino” gallops out of the cigar box, promising to take her where there’s treasure. Rosie and Stickerino fly over cities, jungles, oceans and deserts until they arrive at an ice-pop mountain, where Stickerino “stickles” some pirate toughs while Rosie grabs a treasure chest. Next morning, Rosie presents her amazed father with a chest of gold while the sticks recover from their adventure. Blake’s sprightly, quirky signature ink-and-watercolor illustrations vibrate with playfulness and humor as they transport Rosie and Stickerino from their mundane urban world across color-washed pages to a rainbow-hued ice-pop mountain populated with rascally pirates, hilariously tickled into submission by empowered ice-pop sticks.

It’s an exuberant reminder to dream big, although, sadly, Hoban’s text has been Americanized, losing some of its flavor. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 12, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6400-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Dec. 1, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2012

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A good choice for just those days when Mom and Dad do go away and leave their children in charge of Grandpa.

HOW TO BABYSIT A GRANDPA

From the How To... series

Reagan’s second outing is a tongue-in-cheek reversal of roles as a young boy instructs readers on how best to entertain and care for a grandpa while Mom and Dad are away.

First, he instructs them to hide when Grandpa rings the doorbell—resist the wiggles and giggles, and only pop out when he gives up. Then, reassure him that Mom and Dad will be back and distract him with a snack—heavy on the ice cream, cookies, ketchup and olives. Throughout the day, the narrator takes his grandpa for a walk, entertains him, plays with him, puts him down for a nap and encourages him to clean up before Mom and Dad’s return. Lists on almost every spread give readers a range of ideas for things to try, provided their grandfathers are not diabetic or arthritic, or have high blood pressure or a heart condition. These lists also provide Wildish with lots of fodder for his vignette illustrations. His digital artwork definitely focuses on the humor, with laugh-out-loud scenes and funny hidden details. And his characters’ expressive faces also help to fill in the grandfather-grandson relationship that Reagan's deadpan narrative leaves unstated.

A good choice for just those days when Mom and Dad do go away and leave their children in charge of Grandpa. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 10, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-375-86713-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2012

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A multilayered, endearing treasure of a day.

MY DAY WITH GONG GONG

Spending a day with Gong Gong doesn’t sound like very much fun to May.

Gong Gong doesn’t speak English, and May doesn’t know Chinese. How can they have a good day together? As they stroll through an urban Chinatown, May’s perpetually sanguine maternal grandfather chats with friends and visits shops. At each stop, Cantonese words fly back and forth, many clearly pointed at May, who understands none of it. It’s equally exasperating trying to communicate with Gong Gong in English, and by the time they join a card game in the park with Gong Gong’s friends, May is tired, hungry, and frustrated. But although it seems like Gong Gong hasn’t been attentive so far, when May’s day finally comes to a head, it is clear that he has. First-person text gives glimpses into May’s lively thoughts as they evolve through the day, and Gong Gong’s unchangingly jolly face reflects what could be mistaken for blithe obliviousness but is actually his way of showing love through sharing the people and places of his life. Through adorable illustrations that exude humor and warmth, this portrait of intergenerational affection is also a tribute to life in Chinatown neighborhoods: Street vendors, a busker playing a Chinese violin, a dim sum restaurant, and more all combine to add a distinctive texture. 

A multilayered, endearing treasure of a day. (glossary) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 8, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-77321-429-0

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Annick Press

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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