Where Have You Been?

Where Have You Been?

by Margaret Wise Brown

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Where has the Little Old Cat been?

To see this and that
Said the Little Old Cat . . .

Where does the Little Old Fish swim?

Wherever I wish
Said the Little Old Fish . . .

Have you also wondered where a cat or a squirrel has been or where a bird flies or a whale sails? How about why a bunny runs? With playful,

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Where has the Little Old Cat been?

To see this and that
Said the Little Old Cat . . .

Where does the Little Old Fish swim?

Wherever I wish
Said the Little Old Fish . . .

Have you also wondered where a cat or a squirrel has been or where a bird flies or a whale sails? How about why a bunny runs? With playful, rhyming verse, where have you been? perfectly captures the wonderful, wise questions that children ask every day.

The treasured text by Margaret Wise Brown, author of goodnight moon, has been newly illustrated by two-time Caldecott Medalists Leo and Diane Dillon, creating a picture-book classic that children will love to see, to hear, and to read again and again.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Having previously illustrated Goodnight Moon author Brown's Two Little Trains, the Caldecott Medal-winning Dillons update what seems a minor work by the late author (the original 1952 edition was illustrated by Barbara Cooney). A bookish brown owl, wearing green-tinted specs and a strand of pearls, interviews 14 creatures, starting with, "Little Old Cat/ Little Old Cat/ Where have you been?/ To see this and that/ Said the Little Old Cat/ That's where I've been." In a fanciful full-page image opposite the question-and-answer scene, the Cat sits with a slender elf on a personified crescent moon, gazing through a telescope. Each stanza follows the same formula as the owl asks after Brown's favorite animals, including a bird, bunny and mouse. A Little Old Horse has been "in the clover, of course," Little Old Frog "sitting on a log" and Little Old Bee "in a pink apple tree." On each facing page, a larger image suggests the animals' exotic adventures with fairy people; for instance, Little Old Toad drives an antique car (in a possible allusion to The Wind in the Willows), with a fairy couple riding shotgun. Throughout, the owl jots notes with a purple quill pen, but her journal's pages remain disappointingly blank, and readers don't see any handwriting until she writes "The End" on the back of the book's dust jacket. The Dillons, whose meticulously crafted watercolors here recall Richard Egielski's exacting work, create pleasing but superficial tableaux for Brown's likewise bland, repetitive verses. Ages 3-6. (May) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
There has been a recent rebirth of interest in the works of the legendary children's editor and writer Margaret Wise Brown (1910-1952). Attribute it to the fact that her Goodnight Moon has been in print for more than fifty years . . . or that the publishing industry is hungry for solid, traditional product. For whatever reason, this reprint is welcome. It proves once again that Brown knew how to get in close and cozy with little ones. Her simple, repetitive rhymes still work—possibly better than ever thanks to their lovely and imaginative interpretation by the husband-and-wife team of Leo and Diane Dillon. Twice Caldecott Medalists, the Dillons still have the right stuff. Under the questioning of a wise old owl, their cats, squirrels, fish, and birds explore the heavens and the seas in the company of otherworldly fairies and mermaids. Their toad and bunny pay homage to The Wind in the Willows and Aesop's Fables. There are other connections to be made, other small pleasures. But one must leave some surprises to the owl-wise parents who explore these pleasures with their children. 2004 (orig. 1952), HarperCollins, Ages 3 to 6.
—Kathleen Karr
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-Children fond of call-and-response will enjoy this humorous nursery rhyme. A scholarly looking owl in pearls peers from behind her green-rimmed glasses to ask her animal acquaintances what they've been up to and records their responses in a big book. Brown's slight verses are brought to life by the humor and verve of the Dillons' richly shaded watercolor paintings. On the left-hand side of each spread, the inquisitive owl interrogates an animal-a race-winning bunny, a saxophonist lion, a motorist frog, and so on-and on the right, readers are treated to a full-page, visual recounting of the creature's adventure. The simple, rhythmic text starts out strong but unravels toward the end, as its tight rhyme scheme grows irregular and sloppy. Still, the illustrations are as lively as they are charming, and have enough detail to keep children interested. This book could supplement titles such as Bill Martin, Jr.'s Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? (1983) and Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? (1991, both Holt).-Sophie R. Brookover, Camden County Library, Voorhees, NJ Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The Dillons create an eldritch world for this philosophical rhyme, which was first published 50 years ago with misguidedly twee art by Barbara Cooney. An owl interviews a succession of creatures: "Little Old Cat / Little Old Cat / Where have you been? / To see this and that / Said the Little Old Cat / That's where I've been." Squirrel, Fish, Bird, Horse, Toad, and others-each shown running or swimming, traveling by often unusual means, or posing at a destination, accompanied by small, winged, green- or purple-skinned human figures-reply to Owl's queries in a similarly oblique vein. More polished than some of the fragmentary texts recently mined from Brown's archives, this combines soothing verbal and visual rhythms with a sense of mystery that will leave young readers or listeners spellbound. (Picture book. 5-7)

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Product Details

HarperCollins Children's Books
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
6.11(w) x 8.11(h) x 1.11(d)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Few writers have been as attuned to the concerns and emotions of childhood as Margaret Wise Brown (1910-1952). A graduate of Hollins College and the progressive Bank Street College of Education, she combined her literary aspirations with the study of child development. Her unique ability to see the world through a child's eyes is unequaled. Her many classic books continue to delight thousands of young listeners and readers year after year.

Muy pocos escritores de literatura infantil han logrado captar las emociones e inquietudes de la niñez como Margaret Wise Brown (1910-1952). Sus numerosos y ya clásicos libros y grabaciones continúan deleitando a lectores y oyentes de todas las edades.

Two-time Caldecott-winning illustrators Leo and Diane Dillon have illustrated over 25 books for children, and have received many honors, including two Coretta Scott King Awards and the Society of Illustrators Gold Medal. They live in Brooklyn, NY.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
May 23, 1910
Date of Death:
November 13, 1952
Place of Birth:
Brooklyn, N.Y.
Place of Death:
Nice, France
B.A., Hollins College, 1932; Bank Street College of Education

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