From School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-A masterful blend of text and illustration. Kroll has fashioned a suspenseful, kid-friendly picture book that works on several levels. On the same day that Jenny's pet guinea pig disappears, her class is assigned a writing project. Although she loves to draw, she has trouble composing stories and is anxious about the assignment. First, Jenny puts her artistic talents to work making "missing" posters to put up all over town. She is so distraught over the loss of Patches that she imagines that terrible things have befallen him, including being kidnapped by a masked thief and smuggled onto a train. She translates all of her anxiety into drawings that show the worst of her fears. All ends well when a neighbor returns her beloved pet and Jenny constructs a narrative to accompany the pictures she has drawn. Gott's digitally generated cartoons are perfect for the story.-Barbara Buckley, Rockville Centre Public Library, NY
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Ages 5-8. When Mr. Griswold tells his class to write a story, Jenny can't think of any thing to write about--and she'd rather draw pictures anyway. Her teacher insists, "Words first!" Arriving home, Jenny discovers that her guinea pig, Patches, is missing. She draws missing-pet posters and puts them up in the neighborhood and crayons a series of scenes depicting what might have happened to her pet. After a neighbor finds and returns Patches, Jenny's mother points out that her pictures tell a good story. Jenny adds words and successfully completes her assignment, even teaching her teacher that "pictures first, words second" can work, too. The many children who prefer drawing to writing will enjoy Jenny's classroom triumph even more than the return of her guinea pig. Written with a sure sense of narrative and an understanding of the concerns and the learning styles of children, the story finds apt expression in Gott's digital artwork, which has the appearance of cut-paper collage. The cartoon-style look and movement of the characters, unusual for collages, intensifies the book's child appeal. Kids may find inspiration in Jenny's wonderfully expressive, but convincingly childlike drawings to create their own illustrated stories. A fresh, fine offering. Carolyn PhelanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved