by Peter Harris
Is Mrs. Wolf having lamb for
dinner? Little Lambert has dropped in unexpectedly to her deep, dark den.
Festooned with pop-ups, pull-tabs
and various flaps, this energetic picture book would succeed even without the
clever paper engineering. A young lamb tumbles, via pull-tab, into the den of
the voracious-looking green-eyed Mrs. Wolf, who ignores Lambert's pleas to be
taken home. 'It's nearly dinnertime,' she tells him, and proceeds to bathe him
(the reader participates by means of a particularly well constructed pop-up with
its own pull-tab), prepare her kitchen with frightening utensils, and smack her
lips over her cookbook's listings of 'Recipes for Lambs'. She swings a
terrified Lambert over the kettle (another pop-up with pull-tab), and the reader
helps her aim a masher - only to discover that Mrs. Wolf is mashing up food to
serve Lambert. Roddie sets up the surprise for optimum dramatic effect, and the
suspense continues even after Lambert has been fed. Paul gives his characters
outlandish animated expressions and fills the abundant backdrops with tangy
details. A book to savor.
Mrs. Wolf rescues Little Lambert after he falls into her den, but it could be that she only wants to fatten him up for supper. Lots of pull-tabs make this pop-up a winner for those five and six-year-olds who like a little scare with their books.
AMERICAN BOOKSELLER 18 MAY 93, JW
When little Lambert falls into Mrs. Wolf's clutches, we fear the worst. 'It's nearly dinnertime' she says, and proceeds to wash the lamb up. She takes an enormous ax and cuts herself a chopping board...Everything she does seems aimed at cooking him, even the recipes she reads are 'for lambs.' But who or what's for dinner is the surprise. Watercolor and ink paint scenes of scrumptious detail that must be savored in multiple readings. Large and small settings, sometimes five to a double-page spread, allow for lots of action. And assorted pop-ups, pulls, slides, and even lift-outs contribute to the fun of the conclusion. All grades.
LIBRARY TALK NOV/DEC 93