Reviews for Who Needs Love?


Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Fall
After a witch loses a silver dollar that she took from a tree, it's found by a couple of frogs, one of whom the witch turns into a donkey. The elements (witch, frogs, forest, magic) and straight-ahead plotting give the book a fairy-tale aura, but the story doesn't gel, and the inattentive cartoon illustrations lack a fairy tale's requisite charm.

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Kirkus Reviews 2012 November #1
A humorous cautionary tale of greed, wishes and hope. In Pokey Marsh, a "rotten-to-the-core witch" snatches a silver coin from a wise cypress and promptly loses it. Gator best friends Scarlett Starlett and Simon Greensnout happen to discover the shiny object. Each time the tree finds its coin in the hands of another, it intones, "Give me back my silver dollar and I will give you something that lasts forever….What lasts forever?" Each character chooses to keep the coin instead of what it thinks lasts forever. What ensues is a series of silly yet unfortunate events. Simon gets turned into a donkey, while Scarlett becomes a famous singer cursed with a spell that keeps her from finding anything. Most distressing is that Simon and Scarlett are no longer together. Thanks to the witch's convenient fit of frustration, Scarlett finds herself in possession of the coin. In a scene reminiscent of Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, Scarlett wishes Simon were with her, and he magically turns back into an alligator. A traditional happy-ever-after follows, and readers will already have guessed what lasts forever. Primavera's tale reads like a modernized folk tale, and Park ably captures every emotion in her watercolor-and-ink illustrations. Due to the lengthy series of plot twists, this title is best suited for an older audience. Amusing, but probably not one children will ask for more than once. (Picture book. 5-8) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2013 April

K-Gr 2--Simon and Scarlett, two young alligators from Pokey Marsh, are dear friends; in fact, everyone assumes they'll be married someday. But their ambitions, and a "rotten-to-the-core" witch, divide them. Simon wants to see the world and Scarlett dreams of singing on stage. The witch has no use for love or for either of the gators. Along the way to a happy ending, a giant cypress tree tells a riddle, Scarlett loses her wallet, crabs fall in love, and Simon is turned into a donkey. The cypress tree is reduced to a bare patch of scorched earth. The witch loses a silver dollar. This is not a simple story. In fact, there are so many details and distractions that the intended audience is in question. Park's ink-and-watercolor illustrations are attention-grabbing, awash in color and personality, but they might not succeed in getting five- or six-year-olds to focus on the convoluted plot.--Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NY

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