Children's Book ReviewsThe Internet Writing Journal, December-January 2001 Page Three of Three
Snowie Rolie by William JoyceHarperCollins, October 2000.
Picture Book, 40 pages
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As every person who works with children knows, a snowy day is magic in every way. There is no school and the world is covered with the most wonderful material that only awaits the imagination of a child. But with the joy of creating a snowman comes the realization that one must say goodbye to one' s creation. Or does one?
In Snowie Rolie, William Joyce gives the young child a wonderful solution to the perennial problem of the melting snowman. Rolie Polie Olie is a little one who lives where it never snows, and he wishes for a wonderful snowy day. Then one day it happens. The sun blew a light bulb and it began to snow. So Rolie and his little sister, Zowie, started to build a snow friend whom they named Mr. Snowie. They all had so much fun together, but then the inevitable happened and the sun got a new bulb. There was very little time, so they all took a rocket to Chillsville, with the air conditioning turned on full blast. Following the snow-capped mountains, the three friends were happy to land in Chillsville where they were welcomed by Klanky Klaus, who bore a striking resemblance to Santa Claus. After many wonderful times in the snowy land, Olie and Zowie had to bid their snowman friend goodbye. Imagine their surprise when the next morning they discovered a gift from their friend -- a snow-scene toy with little figures of the three friends inside.
This is a story that will delight children from ages two to eight. It recognizes all the feelings of the snow-deprived children and turns to fantasy to solve all their problems. This would make a wonderful gift for a child, especially if it is accompanied by a small snow-scene toy.
--Sarah Reaves White
Where do Balloons Go? An Uplifting Mystery by Jamie Lee Curtis, Illustrated by Laura CornellHarperCollins, August 2000.
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A little boy is holding a large purple balloon when disaster strikes; he lets go of the balloon. Musing in rhyme on the aftermath of the balloon's escape, he wonders "Where do balloons go/when you let them go free?/It can happen by accident/it happened to me." The rest of the story follows several flights of fancy on the possible fate of escaped balloons. "Maybe they're better away from the smog/ being twisted by clowns/or chased by my dog." Laura Cornell's colorful watercolor and ink illustrations are a perfect match for the catchy, upbeat (sometimes offbeat) story and rhymes. As in all of Cornell's illustrations, there is plenty to keep an adult amused. One of the missing balloons advertises Dr. Chas Collagen (Call 1-800-LIPS), while another balloon nervously approaches the Bates Motel (a nod to Curtis' own mom, Janet Leigh). Also included are a page of reusable stickers which can be placed on the front papers (which feature a background of clouds and sky) or the end papers (which feature a starry night background). Ms. Curtis and Ms. Cornell make a great team, having collaborated before on such bestsellers as Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born and When I Was Little; A Four Year Old's Memoir of Her Youth. Where Do Balloons Go? is a witty and well-imagined story which is sure to delight both children and adults. Highly recommended.
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