THERE WAS A BOLD LADY WHO WANTED A STAR

Charise Mericle Harper, Author . Little, Brown/Tingley $15.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-316-14673-9

In this folksy revision of "I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly," an auburn-haired woman in a calico dress looks out her window at a yellow, five-pointed star while her son sleeps under a patterned quilt. The lady fetches some running shoes and roller skates ("She bought the skates to replace the shoes./ She bought the shoes to catch the star./ I don't know why she wanted a star—/ it seemed too far"). She next acquires a car, a plane and a "big rocket,/ then zoomed up and caught the star in her pocket." Using all her modes of transportation in reverse order, she returns to the farmhouse and affectionately presents her son with the star "in a jar. (So it wasn't too far!)" Harper (Imaginative Inventions) populates whimsical land- and cityscapes with fanciful bugs, birds and animals. The bold lady buys a bike from a small pink squirrel, then cycles through a flowery forest; she gets a car from a speckled snake and cruises past quirky shops. For each reiteration of the sequence, Harper provides a rebus alongside her key words. Delicate stippled dots and understated spirals decorate every available surface. These attentive folk-art touches complement the spry singalong verse, while suggesting the heights that love might reach. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 09/16/2002
Release date: 09/01/2002
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