Lawn to Lawn
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Lawn to Lawn

by Dan Yaccarino
     
 

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   Lawn to Lawn is the subversively funny story of four lawn ornaments who, left behind after a move, travel across the country to find the little girl they love.  

   As they make their way through cities and towns, over mountains and into swamps, a lawn jockey, a deer, a pink flamingo, and a garden gnome face

Overview

   Lawn to Lawn is the subversively funny story of four lawn ornaments who, left behind after a move, travel across the country to find the little girl they love.  

   As they make their way through cities and towns, over mountains and into swamps, a lawn jockey, a deer, a pink flamingo, and a garden gnome face menacing gargoyles and dangerous trash trucks and tackle the big questions—where they belong, and what home means.

   Dan Yaccarino's quirky tale of toys-come-to-life joyously reminds us that home is where the people you love are, and that no journey is too difficult to be with them.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Phyllis Kennemer
Pearl shares her excitement about moving to a new home with her friends, who are the lawn ornaments in her front yard. The metal creatures—a gnome, a flamingo, a jockey, and a deer—are not so happy. They have never been anywhere outside this lawn. Moving day arrives and the ornaments are left behind. They panic. Pearl is the only one who knows they are alive. They fear they will be hauled away in a trash truck. Fortunately, a map is lying nearby. The friends walk day and night through all kinds of conditions and terrain. After traveling miles and miles, they finally reach Ritzy Estates, only to discover the gates are locked and guarded by stone lions. Sitting on the curb in despair, they are thrust into the dreaded trash truck and taken inside the grounds. They jump out at Pearl's door. Pearl is delighted. Some tasteful statuary appears on her front lawn and no mention is made of how Pearl's parents will react to the arrival of these old and tattered pieces. The colorful, humorous illustrations present endearing characters and creatures. Young children will enjoy spotting the many interesting details that are not mentioned in the text. Reviewer: Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.
Publishers Weekly
Four ticky-tacky decorations—a flamingo, a gnome, a lawn jockey, and a deer with half an ear—ponder their future when their owners move away. They miss Pearl, the girl who “knew that they were real,” and they face other threats: “ 'If we stay here,' said Betty, 'the new owners may store us in the garage—or, worse...' 'The curb!' they all said.” Mindful of being mistaken for garbage, they leave the downscale cottage in search of Pearl's new gated community, Ritzy Estates. Yaccarino (The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau) gives the ornaments salt-of-the-earth names—Flo, Betty, Norm, and Jack—and places them in droll situations, which often appear in side panels, lending the tale a storyboard quality. During their journey, the four pose as water features in a fountain, walk along stacked like the Bremen Town Musicians, and get directions from Paul Bunyan. Other gnomes, RV-park flamingos, and racetrack jockeys also temporarily distract them, but they persevere. In sinuous contemporary art, Yaccarino humorously considers the secret lives of inanimate objects and lampoons the vagaries of taste: “Some people didn't love lawn ornaments the way Pearl did.” Ages 5–9. (Jan.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—When Pearl's family moves, they forget to pack their lawn ornaments. Betty (a deer), Flo (a flamingo), Norm (a gnome), and Jack (a jockey) have a special fondness for the little girl and set off to find her. They face many perils, especially since "Only Pearl knew that they were real.… Some people didn't love lawn ornaments the way Pearl did." Sequential cartoon illustrations that resemble animation stills chart the foursome's madcap trip as they pop up from manhole covers in the city, climb snow-covered mountains, and trek across swamps and fields. They finally arrive at Ritzy Estates, only to be rudely refused entry by "snooty" marble lions. Dejected, they sit on the curb and are then tossed into the back of a "dreaded trash truck." As it turns out, their nemesis drives them right through the gates and into the arms of Pearl. The art is done in a flat, retro style and is filled with amusing and clever details. The characters have an offbeat charm, and their longing for a lost friend rings true.—Linda Ludke, London Public Library, Ontario, Canada
Kirkus Reviews
After their friend Pearl moves, four tacky lawn ornaments hit the road looking for her new home in Ritzy Estates. Betty (a deer), Flo (a flamingo), Norm (a garden gnome) and Jack (a jockey, Caucasian) must stick together during an arduous journey and evade the dreaded trash truck-once a trash truck takes an ornament, "it never comes back!" The colorful gang meets both creepy and helpful statuary along the way: Gargoyles follow them, gnomes offer assistance, a fast-food burger-boy points the way. Yaccarino offers young readers a world of cool duality, in which objects alternately talk, feel and move-and then don't. Illustrations, although vivid, communicate only freeze-frame flatness, making the ornaments appear caught in halted animation and reinforcing the book's magic. Bustling adults remain oblivious to the statues' conversations, travels and communities, while child readers see everything. Young readers will relish experiencing and knowing something that adults do not or can not. Although many children might not have seen lawn ornaments before, Yaccarino's endearing, earnest characters are worth getting to know. (Picture book. 4-8)
From the Publisher
Starred review, Kirkus Reviews, December 1, 2009:
“Yaccarino’s endearing, earnest characters are worth getting to know.”

Review, Booklist, December 1, 2009:
"A keeper."

Review, Publishers Weekly, December 21, 2009:
"In sinuous contemporary art, Yaccarino humorously considers the secret lives of inanimate objects."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375855740
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
01/12/2010
Pages:
40
Product dimensions:
8.24(w) x 10.32(h) x 0.39(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
Starred review, Kirkus Reviews, December 1, 2009:
“Yaccarino’s endearing, earnest characters are worth getting to know.”

Review, Booklist, December 1, 2009:
"A keeper."

Review, Publishers Weekly, December 21, 2009:
"In sinuous contemporary art, Yaccarino humorously considers the secret lives of inanimate objects."

Meet the Author

Dan Yaccarino is an internationally acclaimed author-illustrator with more than 30 books to his credit. Dan is also the creator of the animated TV series Oswald and Willa's Wild Life, and he designed the characters for The Backyardigans.

Dan Yaccarino is an internationally acclaimed author-illustrator with more than 30 books to his credit. Dan is also the creator of the animated TV series Oswald and Willa's Wild Life, and he designed the characters for The Backyardigans.

Kirby Heyborne has received critical acclaim for his starring role in the award-winning World War II drama Saints and Soldiers. He has had starring roles in eight other features and two short films, and has also appeared on the WB's Everwood and many national commercials. He has garnered rave reviews for his narration for Books on Tape over the years and is considered one of the finest narrators working today.

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