In her latest so-quirky-yet-so-clever concept book, Keller (The Scrambled States of America) takes a fresh look at numbers and some of their more, um, creative uses. Focusing largely on the look and shape of numerals, Keller introduces kindly Grandpa G. and his "number yard rat," who espouse the many ways that numbers come in handy. With its straight-line one and curvy three, 13 is quickly fashioned into a parachute when Grandpa G.'s original plaid one fails. In a jam, 15 can serve as a pair of tweezers. And a "two" is perfect for tooting like a saxophone up on the moon. Though the rhyming couplets here brim with silliness, numbers and counting do get their due. Keller's hand- lettered asides and visual jokes will not only make readers laugh, they will challenge them to count the items in each scene that total the featured number. For example, the musical "two" spread beckons, "Dig my bongos, Daddy-O?/ Cool, man! Count 'em." Throughout, Keller's fleshy-nosed characters featured in stylized acrylics keep the energy level high. (Eagle-eyes will even spot the star of her Arnie the Doughnut.) Ages 4-7. (Oct.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
PreS-Gr 2-Another showcase for the truly offbeat imagination of the creator of The Scrambled States of America (1998) and Arnie the Doughnut (2003, both Holt). Here, Grandpa presents 20 numerals and describes in rhyme how "Numbers aren't used just for counting these days./Old numbers help people in many new ways." Flying over a volcano of hot mac 'n' cheese, he displays the usefulness of a ONE's natural physique, as it turns into a trapeze bar, allowing him to swing over and add just the right amount of salt. A TWO transforms into a nifty saxophone for jamming in outer space, as he sits on a crescent moon and plays. A THREE turned sideways can comfort your backside should you ever find yourself taking a long ride on a double-humped camel. Eyebrows in your soup? "Dig them out with a SIX-it's a great eyebrow scoop!" And so it goes as the book presents lots of nutty solutions to not-so-common situations. The colorful acrylic illustrations are comical, exaggerated, and stuffed with plenty of humorous details. Readers who look closely will find the Wicked Witch of the West and Rapunzel, as well as some bad puns. The rhyme is forced at times and the humor pretty far out, but children should enjoy this goofy book's wackiness.-Roxanne Burg, Orange County Public Library, CA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Warning: Anyone dizzied by numbers will reel with vertigo in this rhyming tale of Grandpa Gazillion and his yard rat, Hildegarde, as they demonstrate that numbers ONE through TWENTY have other uses than just counting. Frenzied acrylic illustrations depict the skylarking: "If your double-humped camel annoys your backside, saddle up with a THREE for a smooth easy ride," and a backwards THREE fits over the humps. Or, "When buried beneath mashed potatoes and chives, a FIVE is a snorkel until help arrives." FOUR becomes a hair dryer; SIX, a scoop for eyebrows in the soup; ELEVEN, stilts to escape skunk perfume. The absurdity of the suggestions is exaggerated even more by the kooky artwork overflowing with balloon thoughts and asides, signs and more rhymes in a chaotic layout. Young kids won't get the over-the-top, far-fetched humor of this effort or the tangramic effect of the numbers. Only for the top ten number crunchers. (Picture book. 5-7). . . Kennedy, CarolineA FAMILY OF POEMS: My Favorite Poetry for ChildrenIllus. by Jon J. MuthHyperion (144 pp.)$19.95Sep. 1, 2005