An insistently rhythmic rhyme and Catalanotto's splendid paintings describe what happens on a rainy day in a small town when a girl's father locks his keys in the car. As the father tries to jimmy the door with a coat hanger, his daughter makes friends with nearby shopkeepers and animals: ``Dark cloud brisk breeze / `Hey, Mister Locksmith, will you help us, please?' / `Yes,' says Locksmith, clicka-me clong / `If you get me a guard, both brave and strong.' '' The made-up, onomatopoeic phrases in Patron's ( Burgoo Stew ) bouncy couplets become a bit cloying; the book demands, somewhat too forcefully, to be read aloud. Overlaid on each black-and-white spread of the street activities is a full-color closeup that zooms in on the girl's endeavors to help, which result in the participation of dog, grocer, cat and butterfly. Despite Catalanotto's ( Mr. Mumble ) unique design, the sequential connections in the verse do not always make clear the connections between the plot and the disparate characters. The ending comes full circle as the pair returns home: the father has lost his house key, but the girl, mercifully, supplies her own. Ages 3-6. (Mar.)
PreS-Gr 1-A rhyming, cumulative story told by a little girl whose hapless father has locked his keys in the car. As he struggles with a wire hanger and the sky threatens to storm, she comes up with a singing-in-the-rain plan of action. With the help of a friendly German Shepherd, a grocer, a white cat, a butterfly, and a locksmith, ``the car gets unlocked, jangle-me jome/The car gets unlocked, and we drive home.'' Fortunately, the girl has her house key, because her father has lost his. Catalanotto's double-page watercolors realistically and sensitively capture expressions and scenes and complement Patron's whimsical, alliterative text. The adult's predicament and the suburban storefronts are depicted in shades of black and white; the child (wearing foul-weather gear and carrying a colorful umbrella) and her adventures are painted in vibrant color. A sunny book about getting caught in the rain on a spring day.- Vanessa Elder, School Library Journal
Strong, rhythmic verses combine with exuberant watercolor illustrations in this cumulative tale of a young girl and her father who are locked out of their car. Darkening sky and a brisk wind signal an approaching rainstorm, but Dad seems unable to cope with the sight of his keys locked inside the car. Meanwhile, his resourceful young daughter sets off to find a locksmith. Unfortunately, the locksmith can't leave his shop unguarded, and the girl finds herself eliciting the help of a dog, a cat, a butterfly, and a grocer to solve their predicament. Although reminiscent of "The Old Woman and Her Pig," this is a thoroughly modern story with a contemporary problem addressed in jazzy, rhymed couplets ("Dark cloud brisk breeze�20/ `Hey, Mister Locksmith, will you help us, please?' / `Yes,' says Locksmith, clicka-me-clong�20/ `if you get me a guard, both brave and strong'"). Small, full-color illustrations (depicting the daughter's activities) have been superimposed over black-and-white double-page spreads (showing Dad's unsuccessful efforts). The result is both aesthetically pleasing and vital to an understanding of the story. Patron's distinctive language makes this an obvious choice for a spring story hour; Catalanotto's expressive faces and intriguing details will bring children back for repeat viewings.