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

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Picture Books
Doctor All-Knowing

Doctor All-Knowing

Fall 2008 Picture Books
Ages: 3 - 6 yrs.
Illustrator: Alexandra Boiger
Told By: Doris Orgel
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 978-1-4169-1246-0
Hardcover Price: $16.99
In this retelling of a Grimm's folktale, a poor man seeks advice on how to become a doctor and is told to purchase an ABC book (with a rooster in it), buy a suit (with a proper vest), and hang out a sign that says "Dr. All-Knowing." As it turns out, that's all it takes to attract the attention of a rich man who needs help discovering the thieves who are stealing his money. The solution relies entirely on serendipity...but who cares? It's a folktale after all and the happy outcome, if not earned, is nevertheless satisfying. Who doesn't like ending their supper with "cake, or pie, or pudding-and sometimes all three!" Orgel uses familiar fairytale cadences to tell the story, jumping into the action swiftly, subtly underlining the clues that will be important later on, glossing over what needs to go unexplained, and bringing things to a merry conclusion. Boiger's illustrations, especially the ones involving gobs of delicious-looking food, form a suitably light-hearted accompaniment to this lesser-known tale.
Kristi Elle Jemtegaard   ©2008 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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