A wiry girl outwits a kidnapping ogre in this visually enticing story from the Netherlands. The twist is that the balance of power is really never in question: the girl is thrilled to be spirited away (it's a slow vacation day), and more than a little miffed when the pouting ogre reveals that all he wants to do is eat her ("He wasn't a nice villain at all! I'd been looking forward to many adventures, only to end up with an ordinary old child cruncher!"). She escapes, narrating her acts of derring-do with a wry disingenuousness ("You're all red in the face," she tells the ogre as he is shown entangled in a well-placed net. "You'd better take it easy now. Do sit down"). Van Hout (paired with Stein for Brave Ben), working in what seem to be primarily pastels, conjures up a series of magical environments-a not-quite-spooky forest bathed in the blue light of a giant moon, a lair rendered in murky, mottled lavender and a verdant backyard tricked out in the style of the Swiss Family Robinson. Full of fun. Ages 2-6. (Aug.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Gottcha! hissed the fierce robber. "Off to my cave!" "One moment please," Molly said. Then she shouted, "Papa, I am being kidnapped by a big ugly villain. Is that all right?"
A girl sits alone on a swing set, wishing for a playmate. Her father is working inside at his desk, and her friends are all away for the summer. She can't even interest her dog in adventure. Suddenly, she is surprised by a big hairy villain who intends to take her away. Excited by the possibility of a playmate, the child asks her father for permission to be abducted. He says, "Oh, that's fine." So the youngster rides off into the woods with her kidnapper, eager to strike up a friendship. When she finds that the bearded villain is a common child cruncher who intends to eat her, the girl is very disappointed. Not one to be threatened, she jumps on his horse and rides straight home. This protagonist exhibits self-confidence similar to Charlotte, who is featured in Stein's Mine! (2007), and the bubbling child cruncher is as nonthreatening as the monsters along the path in Stein's Brave Ben (2006, both Lemniscaat). The dynamic illustrations are consistent with van Hout's work in those titles. The use of black is limited to the characters' hair and a few details, while the overall page is rendered in hazy pastels. The style serves to reinforce the action in the story while allowing for plenty of details for careful readers to discover. The result is a far-fetched adventure that will have children cheering for their heroine.-Lisa Glasscock, Columbine Public Library, Littleton, CO
- Lemniscaat USA
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.40(d)
- Age Range:
- 2 - 5 Years
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