Children's Literature - Phyllis Kennemer
A toddler wearing a diaper and a birthday hat sings, "Happy birthday to me!" on the title page to start this book. Then the reader joins the toddler and shares his joy as he opens a birthday present from his grandmother. "It's a box. A big brown box!" In the tradition of most one-year-olds, the box is the greatest treasure. He stands on it, hugs it, and plays peek-a-boo before discovering the doggy inside. He instantly names the dog Oscar and includes him in his box adventures. In his imagination the box becomes an airplane, a sailing ship, and a sled. Then the boy wears the box and becomes a robot. He and Oscar enjoy eating birthday cake as they lean against the box. The boy places two pillows and a blanket in the box and they drift off to sleep, dreaming of the joys of having a box. Brightly colored cartoonlike illustrations add to the birthday fun. A good read aloud choice for preschoolers. Reviewer: Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
PreS - A child wearing only a diaper and a striped party hat gets a present from Grandma. "What is it?" The toddler takes off the wrapping paper-bright red with blue polka-dots-and discovers "A big brown box!" A box is full of possibilities and this child lets imagination reign. The youngster can stand on it, hug it, and hide behind it ("Shhh. Where am I? Boo! Here I am!"). When the child finally opens the gift, there's a stuffed dog inside. Now the two of them can create adventures. The container becomes an airplane, a sailboat, and a sled. The new pals share a snack inside its protective walls before settling down for a cozy nap. Patricelli's simple, first-person narration is refreshing. With bold black outlines, the acrylic paintings are rudimentary but nonetheless expressive and endearing. The illustrations stay focused on the two playmates and their toy with few extraneous details. Dynamic, solid-colored backdrops, upon which the box throws its significant shadow, add a sense of spontaneous fun. This is a perfect birthday book for a toddler, along with a box, of course! It would also work well for storytime.-Martha Topol, Traverse Area District Library, Traverse City, MICopyright 2007 Reed Business Information