"A library book, I imagine, is a happy book." Cornelia Funke

"Everything puts me in mind of a story." Ben Franklin

Monday, May 24, 2010

Dodsworth in Paris & Pip Squeak

Next up are Dodsworth in Paris by Tim Egan and  Pip Squeak (I Can Read Book 1) by Sarah Weeks and  illustrated by Jane Manning.

 I've previously enjoyed Egan's droll picture books such as Friday Night at Hodges' Cafe (Sandpiper Houghton Mifflin Books) and  Burnt Toast on Davenport Street (which also features a crazy duck), but this is my first foray into his Readers. Dodsworth in Paris is a pleasant, four chapter long story of cute little animal Dodsworth, his free-spirited duck friend and their visit to the City of Lights. I think that it's a pretty charming trip, from the duck's attempt to dress like a French painter to his visit to a Cathedral, to his naive loss of their money and impulsive, unsuccessful plan to regain it. Dodsworth is an understanding, mostly patient straight man to duck's silly behavior. The book is nicely illustrated with ink and watercolor pictures, that expressively portray the Parisian and tourist animals at work and play.

I wasn't as beguiled by Pip Squeak, but I'm far from the target audience. This is geared to level 1 beginning readers in the "I Can Read" series from Laura Geringer Books, and as such, it has a simple plot, short sentences, rhyming text and word repetition, which is perfectly appropriate. Pip Squeak the mouse spends his day cleaning his house for his friend Max's teatime visit, only to find that Max is a wild and sloppy guy, who fortunately (if a bit too vigorously) cleans up his own messes. Colorful illustrations convey the scramble to clean and the chaos that Max brings.

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