Monday, 5 August 2013

Rootie Kazootie and the Pineapple Pies-John Barrow

I was drawn to this book by the kooky title and the vivid artwork that accompanies it.  The illustrations are very 'of the time'- bright and bold, eye-catching and highly attractive.  The artwork is fantastic and is fashionable and retro in the current resurgence of vintage style.  Rootie Kazootie was a favourite character in the 1950s, having a TV show as well as tie-in books and other memorabilia.

Rootie Kazootie is drawn to Polka Dottie's house when he gets a waft of the aroma of her pineapple pie.  Asking Polka Dottie if he can help her in any way, Rootie Kazootie is left to look after the pie whilst she goes shopping.  However, things don't go to plan when Poison Zanzaboo steals the pie...what will Polka Dottie say?

The characters have brilliant names- El Squeako, the Mexican cat-fighting mouse was a particular favourite of mine- and I loved the magic Kazootie which eventually saves the day.  Highly creative and slightly trippy, the story has dated, particularly in its stereotypical portrayal of women, but the story itself neither too long nor too short and kept my five year old son entertained.  He really enjoyed it, giving a positive review by signalling a double thumbs up.  He said he liked the pictures and his favourite character was Poison Zanzaboo, the baddie of the book, although he didn't like everything Zanzaboo did.

Overall, I believe this book will especially appeal to parents and grandparents who will have been read books in this style when they were children.  Whilst the story may seem tame and outmoded to a child of the 21st century, the illustrations are fabulously nostalgia-inducing, and will hold a modern child's interest with their colour and expression.

Originally published by Whitman Publishing Company in 1953, Rootie Kazootie and the Pineapple Pies is now available in PDF format from .

* provided me with a copy of this book to review in return for an honest review*

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