From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 1-Six stories that recount the adventures of a lively young boy as he explores life in and around his home. Surrounded by a loving family, Tod is a believable five-year-old: full of curiosity, imagination, and a touch of egocentrism. He delights in his Grandma's surprise gifts but learns that giving is just as important. When a neighbor's cat disappears, he helps in this "desperate search," but his generosity does not extend to sharing his toys with a little girl who comes to visit. He revels in his imaginary adventures in the garden as he waits for an orange seed to grow. In all of these delightful tales, Pearce demonstrates her understanding of children through her sensitive development of the main character and her use of simple, slightly repetitive language. Gon's pen-and-ink illustrations (one per chapter) enhance the humor and create a clear sense of place. Though beginning chapter-book readers may be put off by Tod's age, younger children will enjoy hearing the book read aloud.Maggie McEwen, Coffin Elementary School, Brunswick, ME
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Ages 2-4. "After his bath he put on his pajamas and his bathrobe and his bedroom slippers." Carnegie Medalist Pearce creates the cozy, predictable details of a happy toddler's world as well as the moments of surprise and adventure. Six realistic read-aloud stories and occasional ink drawings establish Tod's secure family--Mom and Dad both work part-time and take care of him, and Granny lives not very far away. He knows he's "very, very lucky" when he plants an orange seed, and, against all odds, it finally sprouts a green shoot. He's sad and "quietly crying to himself" when the neighbor's cat, Ginger, disappears, but Tod's the hero of the desperate search to find Ginger. He's mean to a visiting girl and won't let her touch his toys. In the best story, he learns the pleasure of making a secret birthday present for his mother; he even separates from his father because the "blabbermouth" can't keep a secret. This book was originally published in England, and it's strange to think how many words for everyday things must have been changed for an American audience (from ketchup
, and vacation
); but the translation is smooth, the situations are universal, and these stories are most satisfying read-alouds for audiences on both sides of the Atlantic. Hazel Rochman