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Humphrey's Corner
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PreS-Gr 1-Young Humphrey is looking for a cozy place to play, accompanied by his stuffed rabbit, Mop. As the little elephant tours the house, he and Mop add interesting items from the house to his box: his favorite towel from the linen closet, beads and shoes from his mother's room, a colorful bottle from the bathroom. But despite the increase in treasure, Humphrey still doesn't find his cozy spot until his mom takes him to the kitchen, where a playhouse and snack are waiting for him. The sweet illustrations, in warm tones, evoke the innocence of early childhood. While not a part of the story until the end, his mother appears in the background of several paintings as a comforting reminder of the ever-present parent. While the illustrations may be too faint for storyhours, young children will cozy up to hear this story with their own loved ones.-Holly Belli, Bergen County Cooperative Library System, West Caldwell, NJ Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

In this winsome tale from British author/artist Hunter, sunny, pastel-toned pictures and an appealingly simple narrative introduce an elephant toddler in search of a place to play. Into a box with a string attached, overall-clad Humphrey puts his blanket and stuffed rabbit, Mop (which he places on a stool, "so he could see where he was going"). The amiable youngster pulls his beloved belongings from room to room, adding new treasures to his box as he leaves in his wake telltale signs of his explorations. Though Humphrey enjoys his exploits which include tossing bath beads into the toilet, draping himself with his mother's jewelry and donning her high-heel shoes he decides that each play spot "wasn't quite right." Finally, his perceptive mother, who makes subtle cameo appearances in the artwork but who has been mostly offstage during her offspring's wanderings, comes to Humphrey's rescue as he clumsily attempts to navigate the stairs with his possessions. She leads him into the "snug and warm" kitchen, where the little guy finds a place to play that is "just right." Gently celebrating toddlers' independence and imagination, as well as a mother's comforting presence, Hunter's art and words (printed in a font that mimics hand-lettering) shape a story that is, indeed, just right. Ages 2-5. (June) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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