Mrs. Piccolo's Easy Chair

Overview

Jean Jackson has written two popular monster stories, Thorndike and Nelson and Big Lips and Hairy Arms, both illustrated by Vera Rosenberry. She lives in Seattle. Diane Greenseid has illustrated many books, among them When Aunt Lena Did the Rhumba by Eileen Kurtis-Kleinman, Get Up and Go by Stuart Murphy, and We Had a Picnic This Sunday Past by Jacqueline Woodson. She lives in Los Angeles.

Hungry for a snack, Mrs. Piccolo's easy chair follows her to the grocery ...

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Overview

Jean Jackson has written two popular monster stories, Thorndike and Nelson and Big Lips and Hairy Arms, both illustrated by Vera Rosenberry. She lives in Seattle. Diane Greenseid has illustrated many books, among them When Aunt Lena Did the Rhumba by Eileen Kurtis-Kleinman, Get Up and Go by Stuart Murphy, and We Had a Picnic This Sunday Past by Jacqueline Woodson. She lives in Los Angeles.

Hungry for a snack, Mrs. Piccolo's easy chair follows her to the grocery store, swallowing up several people as it goes.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This prolix tale of an anthropomorphic armchair with a penchant for cheese puffs labors hard for little comedy. Struck by a sudden craving for its favorite snack, Mrs. Piccolo's smart-mouthed easy chair ("Mind your own business," it snaps to a nosy neighbor) decides to follow its owner to the grocery store, where it wreaks havoc and swallows ("slurp, gulp") all who would thwart its mission. After buying three jumbo bags of cheese puffs and waddling home, the chair gives a loud burp and disgorges its human cargo (a police officer, Friendly Fred the grocer and a "very large woman and her two plump boys"). Their distress is soothed by the arrival of Mrs. Piccolo, who treats them all to brownies and punch. Nicking a page from The Brave Little Toaster (and leadenly riffing on Edward Lear's ambulatory Table and Chair), Jackson's (Thorndike and Nelson) tale is neither particularly original nor funny. Despite a few amusing moments (Friendly Fred attempts to bar the chair from his store by pointing to a sign that reads "No easy chairs"), the text is self-consciously wacky. Greenseid (When Aunt Lena Did the Rhumba) is similarly emphatic, conveying the antics with a vigorously eye-assaulting combination of purples, oranges and chartreuse and giving the overstuffed protagonist eyes and eyebrows. Ages 3-6. (Sept.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature - Martha Shaw
An old lady's oversized armchair embarks on a quirky hunt for cheese puffs when it follows its owner to the neighborhood store. Those standing in its way, such as a curious old man, interfering store owner, and a mother and two rambunctious boys, are stuffed right into the chair's innards. Gathering all the change that has accumulated in its cushions allows the chair to buy plenty of cheese puffs. It then arrives home just in time to meet its startled owner, burp out the people it has swallowed, and settle in for a nice cozy nap. The illustrator lends the chair facial expressions, and tackles the difficult task of showing a chair walking through slightly distorted, textured and flat acrylic paintings. A neon palette of yellow, fuschia and blue complement this tale for even the most homebound of armchair travelers.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1 What could be more fun than a huge marshmallowy chair that acts like a spoiled person, with the gamut of human abilities and foibles. It walks, shops, speaks, and overeats. Poor Mrs. Piccolo has quite a problem on her hands, but she adores her chair, and indulges it. Napping in its soft, plump cushions is a delight for the old woman until she tries to get out of it. If the chair feels generous, it burps, ejecting Mrs. P. into the air "like a watermelon seed." But when grumpy, only a promise of a favorite snack, cheese puffs, assures her freedom. One day, the chair follows Mrs. P. to Friendly Fred's Fine Foods to purchase some puffs. Along the way, it encounters several antagonists, including Friendly Fred, and promptly swallows them up. In the end, everyone is burped up and invited to a party at Mrs. Piccolo's. The narrative flows rhythmically and Greenseid's bright acrylic pictures add charm and personality to the cast of supporting characters. The cartoonlike illustrations underscore the cushiness of the chair with its soft, rounded edges. Since children the world over gleefully respond to silliness, this title will be a big hit. Susan Garland, Maynard Public Library, MA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
This tale of a ravenous easy chair starts out innocently enough: Mrs. Piccolo and her billowy, cheese-puff-devouring chair enjoy each other's company—the chair so likes Mrs. Piccolo it sometimes won't let her go. When Mrs. Piccolo shuffles off to the supermarket, though, the chair follows at a distance, intent on snagging a bag or two of cheese puffs. First a policeman tries to write the chair a ticket—"We can't have easy chairs strolling down the streets without a license"—and the chair swallows him up in its voluminous cushioning. Same goes for the store manager when he tries to deny the chair entrance: "Can't you read?" he said, pointing to a sign on the door. "No easy chairs!" Slurp-gulp, and the manager joins the policeman somewhere in the stuffing. The same fate awaits a couple of rambunctious children who won't stop bouncing on the chair, and their mother, who has an interest in their whereabouts. All are belched out when the chair gets home. The policeman, the manager, and the mother play dumb about the preposterous proceedings when Mrs. Piccolo returns to find them and her chair on the sidewalk outside her house; they don't want to admit they were taken in by a chair. This sly swipe at both authority and disobedience has on its side child's-sized absurdity, and pleasurably gaudy artwork from Greenseid. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780789425805
  • Publisher: DK Publishing, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/15/1999
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 3 - 6 Years
  • Lexile: AD580L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 10.60 (h) x 0.35 (d)

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