Hobbie's winsome pigs are traveling again, up Orchard Hill and through the woods to the top of the world, but this time the various themes of the book are less integrated. What begins as a tender story about the fear of loss and friendship quickly becomes a less substantial picaresque adventure that relies heavily on readers' knowledge of previous Toot and Puddle books. Toot leaves a note for Puddle, "Gone for a walk. Be back soon." But when he doesn't return by nighttime, Puddle envisions him "[tumbling] into a hole... or something even worse." The sweetly touching illustrations of timid Puddle imagining wolves and confronting the dark woods are so successful that the lighthearted action in the last half seems almost like a different book. Fortunately for the implausible plot, Puddle's own whimsical choices lead him directly to the same place as his missing friend ("Which way would I go... if I was Toot," he asks himself). One of the strengths of this series is its appeal to both young and old alike, but here young readers who worry about parents and friends leaving and not coming back may find it hard to excuse Toot's egocentric search for adventure and his lack of consideration for Puddle. Nonetheless, Hobbie's expert and endearing paintings, some of which are standouts in the series, will appeal to her many fans. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Make way for piglets! Here come the rosy little charmers, Toot and Puddle, in a new adventure that takes them around the world to new heights—literally. Puddle tracks the missing Toot all the way to Provence, where together they catch a plane to Nepal and climb an immense snowy peak—can it be Everest? Home is best, though, and next we see the two piglets grinning blissfully in their own garden hammock. Hollie Hobbie's delightful watercolors allow the youngest readers to share the joys and fears of the world travelers as they journey by train, bus, plane, and hoof. Especially effective are some of the two-page spreads, like the one of Puddle sitting all alone in the open door of a huge freight car with his walking stick and tiny backpack. The humor and the warmth of friendship portrayed make this whimsical tale a natural for reading to a group or for sharing one on one. 2002, Little Brown, Talcroft
Toot & Puddle: I'll Be Home for Christmas:
* #1 New York Times children's bestseller"
Hobbie's chipper text and alternately cozy and funny watercolors are as winning as ever." *Publishers Weekly, starred review"
The lovable piglets are at their best-friend best in his holiday tale."
*Bulletin of the CCB, recommended book"
Children and caregivers will enjoy snuggling together to share this book."
*School Library Journal
Toot & Puddle: You Are My Sunshine:
"Gentle watercolors add a light touch without compromising the compassion found in this graceful treatment of a delicate issue."
*Kirkus, pointered review"
The illustrations are right on target."
*School Library Journal
Toot & Puddle: A Present for Toot:
* A 1998 Parents' Choice Recommendation"
Hobbie beautifully depicts these two appealing pigs in expressive and detailed watercolors."
*School Library Journal"
Hobbie's watercolors are delightful, and Puddle's search for the perfect present is endearing."
Wonderfully on target for young children."