Roslyn Rutabaga and the Biggest Hole on Earth!
Marie-Louise Gay, Groundwood (PGW, dist.), $18.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-88899-994-8
Roslyn's ambitious plan to dig the Biggest Hole on Earth in her backyard turns out to involve negotiations with a worm, mole, and dog, all of whom protest as she shovels ("This is my front yard!" yells the worm. "You can't dig your big old hole here, you silly rabbit!"). She persists, however, and when her father emerges at lunchtime, her hole can accommodate both of them. Roslyn has hoped to dig deep enough to hit the South Pole, and when she wonders if penguins like carrot sandwiches, her father says gently, "As soon as we see one, we'll ask." Against a sea of white space, Roslyn's world is built on islands of torn, textural paper, which Gay (the Stella series) paints with a mixture of different media and fills with many small trinkets—paper airplanes, dog bones, odd socks—flying carelessly off them. Roslyn and her father are chubby white bunnies; her father wears spectacles and striped pants. It's an understated story about what happens when you bite off more than you can chew, and a touching portrait of a quietly supportive parent. Ages 2–5. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/19/2010