Publishers Weekly, 2006-03-20 Sidman (Song of the Waterboatman) and Berg (Lucky Leprechaun) get playful with typeface and shapes, bucking conventional descriptions and seeking alternatives to voice-bubble dialogue. With smooth curvy lines, chunky letters and friendly animal personalities, their pages exude a warmth uncommon in digitally illustrated books (with the exception of J.otto Siebold's). Events take place in an ordinary backyard under a robin's-egg blue sky, where puffy, transparent white words overlap to form clouds ("plump bright dome of sugary white sky-muffin") and rounded green letters group to fill in a tree ("Each leaf a map of branches each twig a branch of leaves each branch a tree of twigs"). On a lush carpet of "petunia-edged, much-flattened, sturdy-bladed, seed-studded grass," three crows tease a white kitten, while a brown spotted puppy pants, "must hunt/ must find/ catcatcatcat chipmunk!" As the crows' cawing intensifies, the antic dog and cat spy each other across the lawn; the clouds thicken, and vertical lines of pale-blue letters begin dripping down as raindrops. Sheltering under a picnic table with three ladybugs, the kitten and pup learn to like each other. Zesty words, images and design mesh in this springy treat, concluding with a surprise April shower. Ages 5-9. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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