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Book JE ROTH, SUSAN Children's JE Fiction-Picture Books

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From the author-artist of My Love for You comes a delightful new book illustrated in her trademark bright collages and starring one of the most popular pets for children today. When a busy gerbil called Cinnamon chews its way up to the sky one morning, it begins an exciting adventure in the great world outside its cage. Setting off to explore, Cinnamon descends a mountain'finds a city'meets a fierce wolf'even takes a ride on a train! In colorful mixed-media collages, award-winning artist Susan L. Roth has captured a gerbil's-eye view of its owner's household, where a rug becomes a meadow and a cat is a hungry tiger. Young children will delight in correctly identifying the scenes that make up Cinnamon's giant-sized adventure'and they're sure to agree that at day's end, there's no place like home.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 3^-6. Roth takes her trademark cut-paper style a step further in this delightfully illustrated book by adding wood chips, wallpaper, and corrugated cardboard to her artwork. Gerbils Cinnamon and Snowball are reunited after Cinnamon's scary but adventurous day out of the cage. As the pals embrace, Cinnamon relates the story of his journey, during which he ran down a "mountain," crossed through a "city," and was pursued by a "wolf" before being brought home by a kindly "giant." Children will delight in seeing familiar things from the gerbil's perspective: the steps are a mountain, the wolf is a dog, etc. Just as much fun are the textures Roth uses in the illustrations, from Cinnamon's fuzzy white belly to the corrugated cardboard stripes of the "tiger." These sprightly experiences of a rascal on the run will amuse gerbil owners everywhere. --Kathleen Squires

Publisher's Weekly Review

For Cinnamon the gerbil, an expedition outside the terrarium proves as thrilling as a safari. This adventure commences with the breathless reunion of Cinnamon and a companion, Snowball, who embrace in front of an exercise wheel. "I've been OUT!" Cinnamon gasps. The relieved rodent explains how, that morning, the "sky" (the screen ceiling of the cage) fell, revealing a "mountain" (of books). Cinnamon recalls a close call with a "wolf," a ride on a (toy) train and a drink from a "pond" that is in fact a dog dish. Roth (My Love for You) shows how the furry fugitive finds a sheltering "barn"‘the pantry‘and is rescued by "the giant," represented by a pair of hands. In the whimsical multimedia collages, Cinnamon appears almost life-size. Handmade brown paper with fuzzy filaments serves as the gerbil's coat, corrugated cardboard takes the shape of a cat, patterned wallpapers provide appropriate home-decor backdrops, and a real screen and wood shavings recreate the gerbil's own home. With a gentle sense of humor, Roth convincingly narrates from Cinnamon's point of view, inviting readers to identify with the small creature even as they reappraise the wide world around them. A just-right blend of excitement and stability. Ages 4-7. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreSÄCurious Cinnamon shares a tale of escape and capture with cagemate Snowball. After nibbling its way out of the cage and into the big world, Cinnamon successfully negotiates a "mountain," a "wolf," a "meadow," etc. Finally, the runaway is captured in the cupboard by a "giant." Borne aloft by a huge hand, Cinnamon "flies" back to the cage and to a welcome-home hug. These exciting exploits are described using the language and perspective of a young child; listeners will appreciate both the humor and the satisfying conclusion. Sentences are completed by turning each page, effectively producing a preschool cliff-hanger; their brevity and construction approximate a breathless youngster's telling. The wood shavings, corrugated paper, and especially the fluff on Cinnamon's chest provide great tactile appeal in this mixed-media collage and the primary colors, basic shapes, and familiar household objects are suitable, simple, and straightforward. An engaging but safely vicarious adventure for the youngest audience, this will be a welcome addition to preschool collections.ÄCarol Ann Wilson, Westfield Memorial Library, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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