Reviews for Truman's aunt farm

Publishers Weekly
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Karas's strong signature style adds punch to Rattigan's ( Dumpling Soup ) sweet but befuddling tale. On his birthday Truman receives a mail-order ``ant farm'' from his Aunt Fran. But homonyms, for some reason, prove his downfall--pretty soon, he's overrun by hordes of generous ``aunts'' who shower him with affection. Truman treats them much like a cute but unexpected litter of puppies; he eventually allows a crowd of lonely kids into his house, and each pairs off with his or her ideal aunt. In the denouement, Aunt Fran arrives, apparently knowing what's happened (``He saw the twinkle in her eye. `You did a wonderful thing,' said Aunt Fran''), but she never explains the strange gift. Karas's unique compositions make bold use of rich color, flattened perspectives and amiable, ruddy-cheeked figures. Still, the illustrations can't help but seem subdued in comparison with his adventurous work in Frances Minters's striking Cinder-Elly (reviewed below) . This may be attributable to the written material: try as it might to offer warmth and wackiness, Rattigan's narrative doesn't take risks--or, for that matter, make a clear point. Ages 4-8. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal
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PreS-Gr 2-It's a good pun, mistaking ``aunt'' for ``ant,'' and one that tickles young ears. Aunt Fran sends Truman a coupon for an ant farm for his birthday, but when he tries to redeem it, he is sent more than 50 aunts instead- flattering aunts and funny aunts, aunts who bake and aunts who knit, gymnastic aunts and aunts who tickle-and they just keep coming. His first problem is what to feed them; his second, to find the right nieces and nephews for them. It's a major project, but he manages to make all the right matches and ends up with the one who has it all-Fran. This is a more playful book than Rattigan's Dumpling Soup (Little, 1993), and is served well by its art. Karas's amiable, pudgy cartoon characters have enlivened several beginning readers; his style is sharper here. Like the best cartoonists, he creates a multitude of expressions and stances with a minimum of line. The result is drawings that are both childlike and sophisticated. Using skewed proportion and perspective, he fills the pages with frantic activities that enhance and build upon the goofy appeal of the text.-Sally Margolis, Deerfield Public Library, IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Horn Book
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Fiction: ready to lavish their attention on their new nephew. When Truman runs out of room Age: he ingeniously shares the loving women with other children in need of aunts. In the end Truman's birthday present from Aunt Fran promises to be a much anticipated ant farm. Horn Rating: Recommended, satisfactory in style, content, and/or illustration. Reviewed by: But he didn't get ants. He got [cf2]aunts[cf1]."""" Hundreds of cheery (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Ages 4-8. On the advice of clever Aunt Fran, Truman sends away for an ant farm. "But he didn't get ants. He got aunts." At first, there are about 50 women of all varieties--and more arrive daily. They love him and make a fuss and exclaim how he's grown. He takes control and keeps them strong and happy with a strict training schedule that includes tickle practice, hug relay, stories, and listening. Then he gives them away, each one to a child who chooses just the right aunt to take home. The one joke wears a bit thin, but kids will laugh at the wordplay ("Don't let those aunts bug you") and at the pet parody ("Make mine lumpy and soft. A good cuddler"). Karas' droll, full-color cartoon art captures the playful affection of a special relationship. ~--Hazel Rochman