When Lisa goes on a plane trip by herself for the first time, her flight from Paris to New York is extremely eventful. She sits next to a "blue lady" (she's wearing a blue dress) who ends up moving after Lisa squirms a bit too much. Before she can nap for very long on her newly empty stretch of seats, food arrives on a tray. And if that weren't thrilling enough, a movie (Cowboys Forever) comes on, and in the attempt to see over the seats (Lisa is a small dog), she knocks over her orange juice glass. This sets off a whole new chain of events, as "the airplane lady" gives her a bath in the bathroom sink and she gets a special tour of the cockpit (where the pilots tell the newly soaped dog she smells nice). By the time she gets back to her seat, she's in America, "all clean." Granted, this is a simple story. Its charm lies in Anne Gutman's funny, loving details and in Georg Hallensleben's ever irresistible paintings of small moments: the spattered orange paint as her juice goes everywhere, the very cute sink bath, etc. This is the perfect book for any youngster who's about to go on a plane ride, or anyone else, for that matter. Luckily for us, this, and its companion Gaspard on Vacation mark the start of what promises to be a delightful series. Highly recommended! (Ages 2 to 6) --Karin Snelson
From Publishers Weekly
These smaller-format picture books record the vacation misadventures of two diminutive stuffed dogs, who wear tasteful scarves and behave with unusual aplomb. They are the only stuffed dogs in sight; the rest of the players are human. Lisa flies from Paris to New York on a large airplane, where her excited wiggling prompts her seatmate to move, and her small stature makes watching the movie a problem. After she upsets the orange juice glass she has been standing on and gets a bath from a flight attendant, she tours the cockpit. "You smell very nice," the pilot tells her. "It was the soap," Lisa explains. In the other book, Gaspard, tired of endless museum tours in Venice, appropriates a little red kayak and evades capture until nightfall, when he is reunited with his parents. Lisa's is the better story Gutman pays more attention to the problems of being small in a world of large people, and Lisa is conjured with real charm but Gaspard's is more impressive visually. Hallensleben's rich, intelligent oil paintings render Venice's architectural marvels in shifting shades of turquoise, terra-cotta and gold. Smaller panels convey the fast action of Gaspard's trip through the canals and his collision with a gondola. Hallensleben's work for Lisa is no less engaging; he knows what it's like to be a child with a glassful of orange juice coming straight at you. Both are winsome flights of fancy. Ages 3-6. (Mar.)
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