Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Vegetable wranglers Freymann and Elffers, who photographed anonymous produce in How Are You Peeling?, stage an all-pumpkin performance. In this rhyming conversation, a seven-squash ensemble led by the round, orange Dr. Pompo discovers a disembodied "nose." The nose looks an awful lot like a stem. In fact, woody stem-schnozzolas protrude from between the characters' cut-out eyes. But the doctor's friends argue about the object's origin until someone arrives with a conspicuous gap above her mouth and a stuffed-up voice: "`Good Hebbens,' said Ms. Sniffen, `and how do you subboze/ I lost it ober dare?... Please Doctor, help be wid by doze!'" Plot is not Freymann and Elffers's strong suit, nor does it matter much. The real fun comes from figuring out how the bumpy, wrinkly protagonists change their facial expressions. The artists photograph the extroverted Dr. Pompo, skeptical Uncle Wrinkle and unripe, earnest little Sarah B. from all angles, at all stages of carving. The same pumpkin can wink an eye, gape or turn a small frown into a maniacal smile; it can appear lemon-size or grapefruit-size on the page, its orange skin complemented by a brilliant turquoise or lilac backdrop. Moveable beans serve as beady eyes, and the talking heads shift their gazes from page to page. Freymann and Elffers considerably prolong the shelf life of these seven fresh faces; their animation is so effective that readers may believe an ordinary, featureless pumpkin is merely squeezing its eyes shut. Ages 3-7. (Sept.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
In the highly specialized realm of talking vegetable books there are a few rules. The veggies must have oomph. Anthropomorphism must be carried into the plane of art. Goofy is not only okay, it's mandatory. Dr. Pompo meets these requirements with grand dignity. The rhyming verse reads rollickingly out loud, and who'd have thought the wrinkles on a pumpkin could mirror people so well? Here is a book, in the manner of the collaborators' previous one, How Are You Peeling? that will lend itself to interaction between reader and listener, review and examination of the whimsical photo art, and even pumpkin-carving parties. In addition, Dr. Pompo is not only a fine nose-fixer-upper but a philosopher, as evidenced by the aphorism with which he ends this wacky tale. 2000, Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic. Ages 4 to 8. Reviewer: Uma Krishnaswami
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-The characters in this rhyming fable are carved pumpkins with stems for noses. Dr. Pompo, rolling on his morning rounds, discovers an unattended stem and freezes, wondering if it could be a nose. Along comes Uncle Wrinkle, who suggests that the item is a gardening tool. Nimkin suggests it is a horn for calling sheep, Mrs. Gordon puts the item to her ear like a hearing trumpet, and Sarah B. thinks it might be a fossil of an ancient dinosaur. Then Ms. Sniffen rolls into the group pleading, "Please Doctor, help be wid by doze!" Dr. Pompo puts the missing nose on (backward) and addresses the crowd, "So-Ms. Sniffen's good as new./And I hope that all you pumpkins have learned a thing or two:/No matter what the problem, it often is the case/that the answer is as simple as the nose upon your face." Though the premise is a bit hard to accept, children may enjoy the idea that they know more than the pumpkins do. Unfortunately, Dr. Pompo points out the obvious from the beginning. The possible explanations provide a playful, creative tone, but the moral is less than satisfying. The best aspect of the book is the portrayal of character and emotion in the various faces, which look puzzled, critical, grouchy, and playful at times. The pumpkins are photographed and placed on solid, brightly colored backgrounds with few other details. While not much of a story, this is an original Halloween addition.-Adele Greenlee, Bethel College, St. Paul, MN Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
New York Times Book Review
A crisis in the pumpkin family: Dr. Pompo finds someone's nose. More fun
in stylized photographs.
More food play from the creators of How Are You Peeling? (1999), featuring an all-pumpkin cast photographed against monochromatic backgrounds. When Dr. Pompo finds a twisted bit of detritus, everyone has an opinion about what it is: a garden tool; a horn for calling sheep; a goat's horn; a fossil. As the doctor knows, though, it's actually a noseand along comes Ms. Sniffen to reclaim it: "Good Hebbins . . . and how do you subboze / I lost it ober dare?" Taking brilliant advantage of each pumpkin's distinctive shape and wrinkles, the authors carve only eyes and mouths, but evoke an astonishing range of expressions and personalitiescapped by a populous pumpkin gallery on the endpapers that, alone, is worth the price of admission. In a final twist that will sure to set off giggles, the doctor reattaches Ms. Sniffen's nosebackwards, by its thinner end. The short, rhymed text is a bit klunky, but the pictures are more than strong enough to compensate. (Picture book. 5-7)