Sir PBJ: Lawn to Lawn

He’s back – Sir PBJ has been asked to have a look at LAWN TO LAWN, written and illustrated by Dan Yaccarino.

Publisher: Alfred A.Knopf, 2010
Age Level: 5-8
Opening: “I can’t wait to move to our new home!” said Pearl.
Betty, Flo, Norm and Jack weren’t so sure.
They’d never even left the lawn before.
But they all loved Pearl, and where she went, they wanted to go too.


The illustrations magically take me back to the neighborhood where I grew up, and the idea of lawn ornaments coming to life felt like a fantasy about to be fulfilled. Here is Sir PBJ and his review :

Can we pass this book on to the Royal Bookshelf? Let’s see. In the publishing credit info, the summary states: ‘When their family moves away and leaves them behind, a group of lawn ornaments sets out on a dangerous trek across the country to try to find them.’ That’s what happens, but I can’t see why these ornaments want to follow the careless family that leaves them, among other things, like the map, behind. Is it because they’re leaving a Levittown and heading to Ritzy Estates on the other side of the country where HOAs prevent such adornments? As the pages turn, I can’t seem to follow a story, and by the third page I feel thrust into a new one – or not? Besides guessing that Flo is the flamingo I don’t know which ornament is which. I commend the ornaments’ comaraderie, their bravery and loyalty – but not their logic. I am also confused by the otherwise beautiful endpapers, because a number of elements never appear in the story.

I feel the ornaments need a better reason why we should wish them well trek to find Pearl. The text continuity needs smoothing out, and the title should fulfill its promise more closely – from lawn to lawn. There would be no need to bound from one geographic location to another and confuse young readers. But hark! The renderings are crisp, and the colors well-balanced and inviting. better luck next time!

11 thoughts on “Sir PBJ: Lawn to Lawn

  1. What a wacky idea for a book — I’m amazed at the ideas authors come up with. Sounds like there is potential here, but not quite met. It may be fun reading to gain my own perspective. Agree, the author put a lot of work in to this silly book. There must be humor here.


    • I am a little surprised that we, in the PB community, don’t often comment on elements that are not working in a book. Because I so often read about people who were motivated to write them because they were disappointed and thought, “I could have written something better than that.”


  2. I like reading these reviews about books that don’t work. Looking at this cover, I would have picked this one up! I like the illustrations and the title. Sounds like a funny story. Thanks for the review.


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