Pantaloon by Kathryn Jackson, illustrated by Steven Salerno

A re-illustrated classic Golden Book that was first published in 1951, this book gets a charming new look.  Pantaloon is a dog that loves to eat baked goods.  So when a job opens at his local bakery, Pantaloon thinks he will be perfect for it.  But the baker doesn’t.  He thinks that Pantaloon will eat more than he bakes.  Pantaloon even tries a disguise to get the job, but he’s discovered.  While Pantaloon is in the barber shop getting his hair cut and trying to come up with his next plan, the baker heads out for more sugar.  Unfortunately, he trips over Pantaloon’s bicycle on the way and ends up in bed.  Pantaloon eagerly steps in and ices the cakes and delivers all of the goodies to customers.  What will the baker say when he returns?

Jackson’s text has an old-fashioned feel to it.  It has very nice repeating lines that really tie the piece together.  Pantaloon yearns for baked goods in a series of lines and the goodies at the bakery are listed in a winning way each time they are featured.  Salerno’s illustrations have a retro feel to them, nicely complementing the feel of the text.  His use of bright colors makes the book feel fresh and vibrant.

A very nice read aloud for food or dog story times, this is a retro sugar-rush of a book.  Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from library copy.

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Also check out the images on Steven Salerno’s blog of the old and new versions.

Funny Lunch

Funny Lunch by David Catrow

This second Max Spaniel book offers mayhem and fun with a pizza theme.  Max is not a dog, he is a chef!  He and his cat friend have a restaurant where they serve pizzas.  When one customer refuses the special and orders chili instead, he is given a scarf, hat and mittens.  When another orders a hot dog, a panting dog with a fan is served.  Trouble arrives by bus with an order of 100 pizzas with everything!  Max cannot make pizzas that fast and ends up with a mess instead.  Luckily great pizza is only a phone call away.  Even better, Max got to enjoy the pizza too.

Catrow successfully mixes very simple beginner reader words with pictured filled with funny details and merriment.  The jokes are classic and there are some that only those looking at the pictures will find.  Catrow’s watercolor illustrations ooze giggles and laughs as well as pizza sauce and cheese.  They add another dimension of fun to the book.  The relationship between Max and his cat friend is a good one that plays out primarily in the illustrations. 

A frolic of an easy reader, this book will be enjoyed by young pizza and dog lovers.  Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from copy received from Scholastic.