This is the best kind of rebus tale, as illustrations and words blend for effortless reading. A horse loves the autumnthat's when the apple tree empties its branches of fruit, and he can eat until he's full. One day, the branches are mysteriously stripped, and there are no apples on the ground. Who took them? What transpires is a journey with a bear across the ocean in search of the ``something'' that flew over the meadow with the apples. Some crows are caught with the fruit, but by the time the horse and bear pay back all those who have helped them (this is also a counting book), they have but two apples left. With promises to eat their fill next year, the traveling companions part. The rebus pictures are brightly folkloric, with appealing scenes to complement the action. (3-6)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2 In this German import, Heuck demonstrates that rebuses can be used with great success. The story itself has an appealing child-like simplicity. A horse lives in the woods near an apple tree. After discovering that the apples have disappeared, he sets out to find the thief. Joined en route by a little bear, the two travel through a village to a seaport, where they board a ship and travel to a sunny land where an elephant and a parrot direct them to the crows who stole the apples. The vividly colored illustratons are done in a primitive style that is appropriate to the story. They show a European landscape with colorful autumnal forests, a village of half-timbered houses, and rich green fields. Unlike most rebus books, in this one, each rebus is slightly different from the others so that it adds visual interest to the page. A portion of the story can be used for counting, as the horse and bear meet a chimney sweep, two cows, three dogs, etc., as they travel. The book is a bit long to read to a group, but it can be used effectively for individual enjoyment and as an example of the use of rebuses. Through the artistry of her paintings, Heuck has shown that the rebus can be considerably more than a novelty. Jean Hammond Zimmerman, Willett School Library, South River, N.J.