School Library Journal Reviews "On Linden Square"
School Library Journal (Sep 2013)
Home on her winter vacation, Stella Mae Culpepper surveys the scene from her second-floor window overlooking the square below. She spies her many neighbors, none of whom seem to interact with one another. Then, following a heavy snowstorm, she ventures to a park across the street and begins rolling a snowball. Surprisingly, she is soon joined by her fellow residents, all of whom participate in the snow sculpting. Each one has a different interpretation of what they are jointly creating. Readers familiar with children’s literature will recognize the characters’ references to Ferdinand the Bull, Babar, and Baba Yaga. Stella Mae distills the suggestions and “triumphantly” calls the sculpture, “Ferdinand Ganesh, the Jazzy Dancing Baba Feng Shui Elephant-Mouse.” Outdoors for the rest of the day, the celebrating neighbors interact eating latkes and tacos with cider, enjoying music, and dancing by candlelight. Sullivan’s friendly storytelling is accompanied by pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations that are reminiscent of Quentin Blake’s style. Sullivan outlines elements using narrow black lines and tucks in small details. Along with giving the characters even more personality, the artwork nicely defines the setting. This pleasant story would be a worthy choice for libraries needing picture books with a message about cooperation and being neighborly.
—Lynn Vanca, Freelance Librarian, Akron, OH