Friday, January 29, 2010

Lawn to Lawn

Booklist (December 1, 2009 (Vol. 106, No. 7))
Grades K-3. In a plot that hearkens back to Toy Story, seemingly inanimate objects left behind during a move go out into the world and find their grateful owner. The four objects here are lawn ornaments: a flamingo, jockey, troll, and deer. Pearl, the little girl whose lawn they have been ornamenting, has a tea party with them at the start of the book but then somehow leaves without them. On their journey to Pearl’s new home, the ornaments focus on avoiding trash trucks and end up meeting lots of other statuary. Other lawn gnomes and flamingos are very friendly, but a gang of “creepy gargoyles” follows Pearl’s friends until a brave moose statue comes alive and chases the gargoyles away. Yaccarino’s clean, bright illustrations have an appealing retro look, and the trek through suburbs, swamps, fields, and city is a visual treat. The book’s ending is fairly predictable (a child–lawn ornament reunion), but the last twist (the ornaments get through the gated community’s gates via a trash truck) is a keeper.

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