Monday, June 27, 2011
Who Needs Donuts?: Review
Who Needs Donuts? is an absolutely delightful children's book by Mark Alan Stamaty (both story & pictures). I have no idea how I missed this one growing up. And only discovered it now thanks to my good friend Richard. In a conversation that started with the closing of H&H Bagels in NYC, we wound our way 'round to Who Needs Donuts. Richard was amazed that I'd not heard of this book. I managed to lay my hands on it (thanks to a deal with Amazon), have it delivered today and whizzed through it in half an hour. But that's just a preliminary run-through. I suspect I'll be going back to look at this one--sneaking peeks off and on like I used to do with my son's Where's Waldo? books.
In fact, Donuts has a very Waldo feel to it. The pages are jam-packed with illustrations that have what seems to be millions of things going on in them. The story is a simple one: Sam is a little boy who loves donuts. He takes off on his tricycle to the big city where he suspects there must be all the donuts he could ever want. He makes friends with a man who collects donuts and it would seem that Sam's dreams have come true. But then he learns a valuable lesson. Who needs donuts when you've got love?
First published in 1973, Donuts never received the recognition that Waldo and other densely illustrated books have enjoyed. It's a shame because the drawings are outstanding--you could look at them for hours and still not see everything there is to see. The downright kookiness embodied in the illustrations is sure to appeal to kids....and those of us with a kid still hiding inside. Four and a half stars.