Not even the promise of cupcakes can buoy the spirits of a girl faced with a long walk home with her mother. What does the trick, however, is a question as pragmatic as it is absurd: "Mom, why can't the house have legs and walk to us?" Her mother answers, "Because then cupcakes could have legs and run away!" and the next spread shows the girl and a gang of friends pursuing a giant, photographic cupcake with a pair of cartoon human legs. Menchin's figures have the wide eyes and stiff limbs of people in Egyptian friezes; they look nearly as otherworldly as the (now animate) inanimate objects they're imagining. But kids will enjoy the leggy possibilities: a rock with patched pants braces itself against a slope as mother and daughter try pushing it downhill ("Rocks wouldn't roll"), while a huge dinner roll sporting bellbottoms grooves under a disco ball ("But rolls could rock!"). "Guess what, Mom?" says the girl, as a Lego piece and teacup dance in her window at journey's end. "I'm not tired anymore!" It's a bubbly thought exercise that should inspire similar flights of fancy. Ages 4–8. (Aug.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—A young girl trudging home with her mom on an urban sidewalk complains of fatigue and wishes their house had legs and could walk to them. So begins a mother/daughter "what if" game in which they imagine apples, rakes, rocks, toys, and other inanimate objects all growing legs and enjoying their new mobility. Now energized by her humorous visualizations, rendered in bold pen-and-ink cartoon drawings that are colored digitally and combined with photographs, the girl arrives home in no time. In a conclusion that kick-starts another imaginative scenario, she wonders: "What if everything had arms?" The simple text and wacky, hybrid illustrations of objects sprouting legs (and arms) combine for an entertaining read-aloud that will engage young children and stir up their own creative juices.—Kathleen Finn, St. Francis Xavier School, Winooski, VT
From the Publisher
A bubbly thought exercise that should inspire similar flights of fancy.
An amusing tale that may spark readers to embark on their own imaginative journeys.
Children's Literature - Allison Fetters
As a tired young girl is walking home with her mother, she begins to imagine what it would be like for objects to have legs. From snails to apples to cupcakes and more, she begins to imagine what would happen if these items could walk. Before she realizes it, she and her mother have arrived home and the time has flown by. She also realizes she is no longer tired as a result of her musings on the journey. The story presents an interesting play on words at times that can be useful in teaching children how different words can be used in various ways. The illustrations combine animated pictures with real photographs to produce a visually interesting presentation of objects. Pastel colors are used primarily throughout providing a soothing element as the pages are turned. The font, although appropriately sized, could perhaps be darker especially for the pages where somewhat darker colors are used. All in all, this is an entertaining book that will appeal to little ones who like to giggle. Reviewer: Allison Fetters