Don't Slam the Door!
Dori Chaconas, illus. by Will Hillenbrand, Candlewick, $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636-3709-5
A boisterous pup bounding through an old screen door sets off a cacophonous chain of events in this picture book romp. A girl makes the titular plea to her dog hoping to avoid mass confusion, but she's too late. The slamming door awakens the cat, who unravels the yarn in Ma's knitting basket, which leads to a pair of knotted, lumpy socks for Pa, who hops around and rouses the bees in the hive, and so on. Cows, bees, and a big brown bear in the bedroom are the last straw for the frazzled young heroine, who orders everyone out. Readers will delight in the cumulative chaos and empathize with the narrator's exasperation. Chaconas (Mousie Love) keeps the energy level up with rhymes full of exclamatory phrases ("Don't run through the barn!/ Hey, Bear! Not through the barn!/ You'll give those cows an awful scare,/ you silly, bee-stung, scaredy-bear"). Hillenbrand's (Sleep, Big Bear, Sleep!) mixed-media illustrations convey a gleeful sense of motion, capturing the bucolic setting and its inhabitants via a sunny palette, dramatic facial expressions, and fun details. Ages 3–6. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/09/2010