The Scary Show of Mo and Jo

Hanoch Piven, Author, Hanoch Piven, Illustrator . Running Press $18.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7624-2097-1

A "creepy, crawly, scary show" by two pint-size impresarios provides Piven (What Presidents Are Made Of ) with the perfect showcase for his offbeat, ingenuous artistry. Combining a simple cardboard circle cutout with a repertoire of familiar, three-dimensional objects—hot peppers, broom straws, paper plates—he creates a series of spooky-funny faces for Mo and Jo (whose own circle faces sport Oreo halves for eyes and gummy worms for mouths). The rhyming text doubles as recipes for assembling the characters, with the end result revealed in a gatefold page. "A witch needs a nose,/ some hair of straw,/ and stinky garlic teeth so raw!" says Mo, as Piven breaks down the assembly of her new identity into three small images. "Put it all together and what to do you get?/ The wildest, wickedest witch you've met!" When Jo becomes a "magnificent wizard" with the help of a mop-head beard, he and Mo try out their magical powers on each other—enabling Piven to show readers how to create five marvelous collaged critters, including a cat with pizza slices for ears, and a lioness with a tulip petal–mane. Mo and Jo eventually scare themselves so silly that they get the heebie-jeebies from their baby brother's shadow. Youngsters, meanwhile, will become utterly enchanted—and likely inspired by—Mo and Jo to get their own creative juices flowing. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 10/03/2005
Release date: 09/01/2005
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