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									The HORN BOOK GUIDE                                                 July–December 2009                                 PICTURE BOOKS • 13




                      PICTURE BOOKS                                           Alikhan, Salima The Pied Piper of Austin
                                                                                  32 pp. Pelican isbn 978-1-58980-629-0 $15.95

Acheson, Alison Grandpa’s Music: A Story About                                (5) This Texas-set story follows the traditional Pied Piper
                                                                              of Hamelin legend, substituting bats for rats and softening
Alzheimer’s                                                                   the ending. The tale gives children an incorrect image of
     32 pp. Whitman isbn 978-0-8075-3052-8 $16.99                             bats as nuisances. The wordy text, printed over dark, murky
(5) Illustrated by Bill Farnsworth. Grandpa comes to live                     illustrations, is often difficult to read. lbc
with Callie’s family. His tasks include tending the garden,
kneading bread, and playing the piano. Grandpa doesn’t                        Allen, Joy Princess Party
always remember the lyrics, so he and Callie make up their
                                                                                  32 pp. Putnam isbn 978-0-399-25259-4 $16.99
own. The text and illustrations are overly sentimental in this
bibliotherapeutic book; nevertheless, it could be useful for                  (4) After dressing up for their party, two girls welcome
families dealing with Alzheimer’s disease. btm                                their guests, who also wear costumes (ballerina tutu, base-
                                                                              ball uniform, stereotypical Native American attire). The
                                                                              gaggle of princesses “Defend the castle / Dance at the ball /
Alexander, Martha Max and the Dumb Flower                                     Plan a tea party—these girls do it all!” The slight story’s
Picture                                                                       “princess power” message has appeal. Action-packed illus-
     40 pp. Charlesbridge isbn 978-1-58089-156-1 $9.95                        trations show a young prince eager to join the fun. ak
(4) With James Rumford. Max refuses to color the flower
drawing that his teacher distributes to the class in honor of                 Anaya, Rudolfo Juan and the Jackalope:
Mother’s Day: he knows that his mom would prefer his                          A Children’s Book in Verse
hand-drawn illustration. The sweet story is rather purpose-
                                                                                  32 pp. New Mexico isbn 978-0-8263-4521-9 $18.95
ful—and overblown (a police officer is summoned after
Max runs off)—but the spare illustrations are tenderly                        (5) Illustrated by Amy Córdova. Lovely Rosita offers a
expressive. nb                                                                rhubarb pie as the prize for the Great Grasshopper Race.
                                                                              Everyone thinks Pecos Bill (riding a grasshopper) will win,
                                                                              but Juan, on a mythical jackalope, captures Rosita’s heart.
                                                                              Anaya makes a valiant attempt to create an original



Gracias / Thanks. Illustration © 2009 by John Parra. Review on page 35.
14 • PICTURE BOOKS                                    July–December 2009                              The HORN BOOK GUIDE


Southwestern folktale using rich New Mexican lore, but the       Ashman, Linda Creaky Old House: A Topsy-Turvy
rhymed text is incredibly awkward. Córdova’s vivid illus-        Tale of a Real Fixer-Upper
trations are eye-pleasing. tw                                        32 pp. Sterling isbn 978-1-4027-4461-7 $14.95
                                                                 (3) Illustrated by Michael Chesworth. Three generations
Andersen, Hans Christian The Little Mermaid                      love their “creaky old house” and wouldn’t change a
    48 pp. Running isbn 978-0-7624-3442-8 $9.95                  thing—until the front door knob falls off. That sets forth a
(4) Illustrated by Charles Santore. Published spring 2009.       chain of events leading to plans for a major renovation until
Andersen’s tale of desire, love, and sacrifice showcases         the youngest child puts her pacifier to good use: “Well, I’ll
Santore’s lush illustrations of mermaids (loose, flowing hair    be,” said Uncle Bob . . . / . . . Lizzie’s gone and fixed that
strategically placed over bare breasts), the prince’s sumptu-    knob!” Detailed illustrations accompany the jaunty rhymed
ous palace, and the tempestuous and undulating sea.              text. ak
Save for a few awkward poses in the paintings, it’s a well-
rendered presentation. erg                                       L Banks, Kate What’s Coming for Christmas?
                                                                     40 pp. Farrar/Foster isbn 978-0-374-39948-1 $15.99
Andersen, Hans Christian Thumbelina                              (2) Illustrated by Georg Hallensleben. Text and art depict-
    40 pp. Candlewick isbn 978-0-7636-2079-0 $17.99              ing carolers, Nativity scenes, and cookie baking alternate
(3) Retold by Brian Alderson. Illustrated by Bagram Iba-         with excitement building among the farm animals. What are
toulline. Alderson’s interpretation of the Andersen classic is   they waiting for? The book provides hints, and readers will
spare and folksy (“She wanted a baby real bad”), with            find the Christmas Eve birth of a foal worth the anticipation.
instances of onomatopoeia (whisht!, rrrrh!) that enhance the     Banks’s narrative is full of sensory detail, and Hallensleben’s
read-aloud experience. Ibatoulline’s acryl gouache and           paintings, with their luminous color and thick brush strokes,
watercolor illustrations, starring a wide-eyed, golden-haired    capture the seaso
								
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