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by Mary-Claire Helldorfer, Dan Yaccarino (Illustrator)

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
What is there to do at a carnival? Lots, according to this high-energy tribute. With a smattering of rhyme, Helldorfer (Gather Up, Gather In) has distilled all of the sights, sounds, smells and activities of a carnival into a minimal, albeit power-packed text. Snappy verbs abound: ``Pitch it'' (a baseball at a dunk-tank target); ``Whack it'' (a hammer on a strength tester); ``Lick it'' (ice cream); ``Crack it'' (a peanut). Clever wordplay keeps the action absorbing: ``Toss and roll it'' (at a basketball shoot); ``Roll and toss it'' (pizza makers). Yaccarino (Big Brother Mike) concocts flat, graphic images in rich, carnival-food-inspired colors: cotton candy pinks and lavenders, hot dog orange, candy apple red, sno-cone blue. The alkyd paint medium suggests a density and frosting-like thickness. Carnival revelers, with rubbery bodies and doll-like, exaggerated heads, stare out from the pages with round, paint-dot eyes as if in a constant state of wonderment. As with a favorite ride, young readers will surely answer the final question, ``Hey... want to do it again?'' with a resounding Yes. Ages 2-7. (Mar.)
School Library Journal
PreS-K-From balloons to peanuts, from floating ducks to Ferris wheel, Helldorfer and Yaccarino have captured the action, sights, smells, sounds, and tastes of a small-town carnival. The simple rhyming text is action-packed with appropriate verbs. Big, bold, almost surrealistic alkyd paintings that bleed to the edge of the pages give the impression of grease paint. However, the constant yellow, orange, and blue color scheme sometimes makes differentiation of objects difficult. There's something old-fashioned about the stylized artwork that may appeal more to grandparents than the children. However, the large format is a plus for group sharing.-Claudia Cooper, Ft. Stockton Independent School District, TX

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.98(w) x 10.83(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
5 - 7 Years

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