A New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Children's Book of 2002
The Barnes & Noble Review
Caldecott Medal winner and Wheels on the Bus creator Paul O. Zelinsky serves up another moving-parts extravaganza in a freewheeling ode to the children's counting song. While a boy and his bone-loving dog head off to music practice, little old men spend time playing "knick-knack" under flaps, come rolling home with the turn of a wheel, and spring out of hiding from numerous pull-tabs. "This old man,/He played FIVE" opens to a beekeeper who dances with a groovy beat, while a pull-tab has "This old man, he played SIX" lunging out of the ground to grab hold of the boy's walking stick. It all culminates, though, when the boy arrives at practice and all the old men play their instruments with flair (while the boy claps along) when sliding tabs are moved back and forth. Zelinsky deftly incorporates the interactive elements into his characteristically bright, detailed illustrations, making this moving-parts book quietly amazing: There's plenty of action to keep kids' eyes hunting the pages for new, subtle surprises, and the movements are stellar. A worthy follow-up to Zelinsky's previous interactive bestseller, Knick-Knack Paddywhack! will have readers young and old marveling at this paper engineering achievement. Matt Warner
Three favorite school chants get the royal treatment from a trio of children's books veterans. Caldecott Medalist Paul O. Zelinsky brilliantly reimagines the song as a boy's daydream, Knick-Knack Paddywhack!: A Moving Parts Book, with engineering by Andrew Baron. Youngsters lift a flap to "Give the dog a bone"; under the flap, the "old man [comes] rolling home" on a bicycle. The focus of the spread features a boy in striped pajamas who, when readers tug a pull-tab, reveals the old man holding the numeral one (and "play[ing] knick-knack" on the boy's thumb). The final spread shows 10 little old men rolling down the hillside.
PreS-Gr 2-No bones about it, this glorious title is a paper-engineering and bookmaking marvel as well as a freewheeling romp. Adapting the traditional counting song, Zelinsky gets maximum mileage out of the minimal nonsense text, larding the visual narrative with dogs, bones, and plenty of old men, each of whom plays "knick-knack paddywhack" with a numerical instrument and uses a different wheeled conveyance to come "rolling home." The artwork uses warm, cheery tones on the full-bleed pages. A rosy-cheeked boy is the focus of each spread; readers follow as he and his dog head outside and have some adventures before rolling home on his skateboard. Pull-tabs and flaps abound as the wacky action plays out and a bevy of tiny men make their progressive appearances. Perfectly enchanting little miniatures and moving parts within the flaps reveal copious attention to detail and each spread invites repeated viewing. Kids will love to sing, count, and clap along.-Luann Toth, School Library Journal Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Lightning can strike twice: 12 years after Wheels on the Bus (1990), Zelinsky offers another pop-up tour de force, infused with humor and replete with astonishing special effects. Rather than huge, explosive constructs à la Robert Sabuda, Zelinsky and his paper engineer have gone for restrained, natural-looking, often multiple movements; as a child rises, dresses, and steps out of his house, the verses of the counting song are acted out on him by a succession of gnomish figures hiding beneath flaps, whisking across cutout windows, or popping out of slots. Some tabs control several actions at once—most notably on the penultimate spread, which not only contains an inventive reprise of the song, but sends all ten of the little old men, plus assorted dogs, rolling separately down a hill with a single pull. In a brilliant final flourish, each little old man literally "plays" his assigned number as if it were a musical instrument, while the lad claps delightedly along. The complex popups require complicated (read: fragile) inner works, but they’re sturdy enough to survive, at least for a while, the enthusiastic knicking and knacking this will certainly inspire. Children aren’t the only readers who’ll want to roll home with this treasure. And everyone will want more than one copy. (Picture book. 4-8)