Playful poet Jack Prelutsky and the beloved Petra Mathers (Lottie's New Beach Towel) take youngsters from the heart of South Dakota to Monterey Bay in this extraordinary collection of poems and paintings that belongs on the shelf next to Ride a Purple Pelican and Beneath a Blue Umbrella. As ever, Prelutsky's meter is flawless, and you absolutely read his poems aloud, even if you're sitting in a room by yourself. This is not the gross-out fare that Prelutsky so delightfully dishes out in Awful Ogre's Awful Day and some of his other books. Here are 28 nonsensical, often somewhat geographical poems for preschoolers and early readers about a tiny baker who bakes a tiny cookie, a granny who lost her footing and fell into pudding, elephants who sit in trees and sneeze, and a small hen who is stuck at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. With the lightest touch, Petra Mathers adds new dimensions and quirky subplots to every poem in endearing two-pages-per-poem watercolor paintings. Young readers will adore this colorful collection of quiet surprises by two of our favorite creators of children's books. (Ages 2 to 6) --Karin Snelson
From School Library Journal
Preschool-Grade 3--The prolific poet is back with an illustrator who matches him in freshness and simplicity. The poems offer vivid glimpses of life; have a beginning, middle, and end; and have a clear underlying music and flow. The selections are for a slightly younger audience than much of Prelutsky's work: some poems are as simple as Mother Goose rhymes ("Baby in a high chair,/baby in a bib,/baby in a stroller,/baby in a crib"), while others would make great flannelboard rhymes for sharing with four- and five-year-olds ("In her garden, Sarah Small/grows galoshes, short and tall./Shirts of yellow, hats of red/beautify her flower bed"). Many of the 28 poems play with American place names, from Tuscaloosa to Tucumcari, and might enliven a geography lesson. Mathers's wonderful watercolors highlight her talents for color and expression. Her treatment of light is lovely, especially in her delicate and exquisite skies, while the comic dignity of some of her creatures, such as the frogs in red suspenders, suits Prelutsky's mood just right. A superb choice.
Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL
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