Reviews

School Library Journal

"The summer Patrick's parents hire Mrs. Jenkins to help them paint the house, the handywoman lends the bored boy her "special tools" to make a creation of his own. At the end of the week, it is revealed: a Small Creature Garden in the Subterranean Room, connected by a Zig-Zaggity-Ladder to the Bubble Room.

"Double-page spreads reflect expert composition, drawing the eye inevitably to some unique detail."

Then there's the Food Room, where pig waiters serve treats of all kinds to diners of a variety of species; the Jumping Room, where rabbits and frogs join jumping humans; and a sail upon the Jolly Mermaid, where the underwater fire lizard is converted into a harmless handful; and finally the Friendly Wild Animal Room. The text, primarily in dialogue, is wonderfully deadpan. The full-color paintings, done in a retro, 1950s style, are loaded with sly visual humor. Creatures stare out at readers, and each room is a marvel of construction. Shifts in perspective add to the lively tempo of the book. Double-page spreads reflect expert composition, drawing the eye inevitably to some unique detail. Mrs. Jenkins, a wonderfully wacky Jill-of-all-trades, is an added bonus in this nontraditional adventure. Inventive and refreshing, this picture book vividly reflects a young child's active imagination. Kids will ask for read-aloud encores, and it will be a terrific imagination starter."

-Carolyn Noah, Central Mass. Regional Library System, Worcester, MA


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