Fashioned from shapes cut out of rice paper decorated with acrylic, gouache and watercolor paint, Samton's ( Everyone Asked About You ) ingenious illustrations boast brilliant hues and texture. Equally imaginative is the animated narrative, which tells of an enormous, ornery rhino who blocks the road, insisting that the various animals en route to market solve his riddle before they can pass. But none offers an acceptable answer, including Tilly Gobble, ``the tiniest goose in the neighborhood'' and compassionate friend to one and all. As winter descends and the rhino refuses to budge, the frustrated marketgoers stop coming. But big-hearted Tilly brings the stubborn beast a handmade feather pillow, quilt and large hat to keep him snug. Deeply touched by her kindness, the reformed rhino perks up even more when Tilly almost by accident solves his conundrum, and the two become fast friends, together tending to the needy. A highly successful effort from this creative raconteur and artist. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)
PreS-Gr 2-- Everyone loves Tilly Gobble. She tends the sick and visits the sad and lonely without fail. ``When a goose is your friend, she is your friend for life.'' On her way to market one day, she comes across a cranky rhinoceros sprawled across the road. He refuses to move until someone can answer his mystifying riddle--``What grows higher as it comes down?'' The king offers a generous reward to anyone who can solve the riddle, but to no avail. Tilly decides that the rhino must be uncomfortable on the hard, cold road and thoughtfully makes him a pillow and a warm, snuggly quilt. The magic of friendship develops, Tilly unwittingly solves the riddle, and the road opens once again. The fine talent displayed on these pages is evident in the bold splash of the tempera collage illustrations placed on clean, white backdrops. The primitive, childlike depictions have great appeal. The plot has just enough action to hold readers' interest. Some vocabulary may be challenging for new readers, but older children will be able to handle it. A good selection to read aloud or alone. --Mary Lou Budd, Milford South Elementary School, OH
Tilly, a goose, has dedicated her life to performing good deeds for her friends. One day, on the way to sell her wares, she meets an intransigent rhinoceros, who is blocking the road to town. He refuses to move unless she answers his riddle. When no one, including Tilly, can solve his conundrum, commerce comes to a grinding halt. Realizing the seriousness of the situation, Tilly responds in the only way she knows--by offering the rhino her friendship. She brings him a pillow, a blanket, and a hat; and the two sing lullabies to cement their relationship. Later, during a snowstorm, Tilly inadvertently solves the riddle, thus bringing the crisis to an end. Samton's colorful mixed-media illustrations will delight young listeners, and her message--good deeds can fix any problem--will appeal to children. The seasonal setting (late fall and early winter) and simple story line make this a good story hour choice.