Archive for August 19, 2011


squish rabbit

Squish Rabbit by Katherine Battersby

Squish is such a little rabbit that no one seems to see him or hear him.  So he made himself a stuffed rabbit friend.  But that only helped his loneliness for a little bit.  He tried playing with the trees, but they didn’t play fair.  Finally, Squish lost his temper and threw a tantrum.  He kicked an apple high into the air, and someone saw and thought it was a game.  Squish saw that the squirrel was heading for a cliff chasing the apple and finally found his voice.  And a new friend.

Battersby has created a picture book with an exceptional amount of appeal.  Her text is simple and understated, allowing the pictures to tell the rest of the story at times.  And what pictures they are!  Done in mixed media collage, the illustrations are winningly simple.  They have a charming ease to them, especially the depiction of Squish, done in white with free black lines.  The mixed media comes in with cut paper, fabrics, and watercolors that give great texture and color.

Highly recommended, this is a superb picture book that small children will relate to and that is also beautiful and stylish.  Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from copy received from Viking.

Yesterday I posted about an amazing similarity between two covers.  Today, I am pleased to follow up with the news that the cover art for Bewitching by Alex Flinn is going to be changed. 

The entire thing has been handled with a grace and style that is laudable.  Well done!

zombie in love

Zombie in Love by Kelly DiPucchio, illustrated by Scott Campbell

Mortimer the zombie is lonely.  Cupid’s Ball is approaching and he has no one to take.  He does try hard, giving girls candy, hearts, and even diamonds.  But something about him seems to turn them off.  He tries reading advice books, working out, and dance lessons, but nothing worked.  Finally, he takes out an ad in the paper (which Jimmy Buffet fans will be able to hum along to) that invites that special someone to meet him at Cupid’s Ball.  He dresses up and sits by the punch bowl.  But no one takes any notice of him.  Finally, he decides to leave, until he hears a crash behind him, just in time.

DiPucchio fills this book with plenty of zombie puns.  Just the personals ad alone offers plenty of laughs.  She has created a book that works on many levels.  Children will enjoy the simple storyline while tweens and teens will get the puns and antics. 

A lot of the humor is visual in this book.  Campbell’s illustrations have a great wild and zany quality to them that suits the story.  From the dangling eyeball of Mortimer’s skeleton dog to the worms that appear throughout the book, there is plenty to love here.

A wonderful pick for either Halloween or Valentine’s Day or any day in between, this book is a funny look at love, zombie style.  Appropriate for ages 6-12.

Reviewed from copy received from Atheneum Books for Young Readers.

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