Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Picture Books
The Pink Refrigerator

The Pink Refrigerator

Spring 2007 Picture Books
Ages: 4 - 8 yrs.
Author: Tim Egan
Illustrator: Tim Egan
ISBN: 978-0-618-63154-4
Can a pink refrigerator be a metaphor for the human brain and the notes posted on it an analogy for the subconscious? In Tim Egan's slightly skewed world of talking rats, purse-carrying dogs and cane-toting tigers...they can be all that...and less. They may, in fact be nothing more than rusty metal, crumpled paper and a soupcon of imagination. When Dodsworth (motto: “Try to do as little as possible.”) visits the junkyard to re-stock the shelves in his barely surviving thrift shop, he discovers an icebox with a mission and a message...or more properly, messages. “Make pictures.” “Read more.” “Play music.” “Learn to cook.” Dodsworth, a debonair rat in a fedora (apparently so lazy that he never once manages to change his outfit) initially resists, then gives in to each suggestion. Couch potato no more, he abandons TV to sketch an ocean, read a classic, take up the trumpet, and test a new recipe. The final directive (“Keep exploring.”) may seem a bit calculated, as does Dodsworth's momentary relapse into the doldrums, but the sight of him packing up his tricycle trolley with paints, brushes, sketchbook, books, trumpet, cookbook, and a bonsai garden is enough to lift the spirits of even the most earth-bound among us. A muted palette and cozy watercolor and ink vignettes as well as full-scale black bordered illustrations are the perfect understated accompaniment to this gentle lesson in listening to your inner muse...even when it's a major appliance.
Kristi Elle Jemtegaard   ©2007 Parents' Choice
Kristi Elle Jemtegaard is the Coordinator of Youth Services for the Arlington Public Library system. She has taught courses on children’s and young adult literature at the Catholic University of America and the University of Virginia. She has served on both the Newbery and Caldecott Award Committees of the American Library Association and has chaired the Notable Children’s Recordings Committee and the May Hill Arbuthnot Award Committee. She is a member and past president of the Children’s Book Guild of Washington DC and has chaired the Washington Post–Book Guild Nonfiction Award Committee. She is a founding member of Capitol Choices, an organization of professionals in the field of children’s literature in the greater Washington DC area. She regularly reviews children’s literature and audio productions for a variety of national publications.

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