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PreSchool-Grade 2-A giraffe, zebra, lion, bear, crocodile, monkey, ostrich, and even a mongoose, all winsomely drawn, walk, trot, prance, lumber, grimace, and groan in turn as each tries to aid Mouse in pushing down on one side of the seesaw to lift elephant on the other. Predictably, with each new creature, nothing happens-until (and equally predictable) from overhead a small brown beetle alights on Mouse. Elephant trumpets, "every little bit helps," as he is hoisted into the air. Pastel watercolours and ink washes in Munsinger's talented hands turn this overworked theme into an endearing piece of whimsy. Clothed bunnies and piglets watch from the sidelines in a pale green park (no modern, rubber-tired, pressurised wood playground here). Repetitive phrasing, the parade of animal types, and the variety of verb actions make this a beginning language pleaser. The facial features and poses are childlike and expressive. Together again (Nothing Sticks Like a Shadow [Houghton, 1988]), author and illustrator introduce a variation on "the straw that broke the camel's back" to a new generation. This is neither as suspenseful nor delicate as Alvin Tresselt's The Mitten (Lothrop, 1964), but still a charming effort.
Harriett Fargnoli, Great Neck Library, NY
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Munsinger takes the prize here with comical renditions of the improbable antics and hilarious facial expressions of assorted playground/zoological types." Kirkus Reviews