At first glance, the answer to this book’s title is pretty clear. Because, everybody. But do you know this book? When I mention it to someone, I either hear about their favorite jelly donut (the one with strawberry), or they lose their sprinkles over the magnificence of this screwy tale.
The simplicity of the setup:
Sam lived with his family in a nice house.
He had a big yard and lots of friends.
But he wanted donuts, not just a few but hundreds and thousands and millions — more donuts than his mother and father could ever buy him.
Finally one day he hopped on his tricycle and rode away to a big city to look for donuts.
The scattered spectacle of the scene, a commotion in black and white. On those initial pages alone:
A bird in swim trunks
A roof-mowing man
A chimney blowing ribbons
A man in the window reading a newspaper with the headline, Person Opens Picture Book Tries to Read the Fineprint
And a cinematic, get-ready-for-your-close-up page turn. (Be sure to look closely in the blades of grass.) There’s almost a calm in the chaos. It’s regular and rhythmic and pandemonium and patterned all at once. Perfect for a story that’s a little bit bonkers and a whole lot of comfort.
And a Sad Old Woman. And Pretzel Annie.
(A fried orange vendor. A bathing zebra. Rollerskates. A Sad Old Woman.)
The starts of stories are carved in concrete.
P.S. – These pictures remind me a little of what I’m seeing for Steve Light’s new book, Have You Seen My Dragon? Check out this review where Betsy Bird notices the same, and this post at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast, because it’s always a treat. I also think of the hours I’d spend as a kid studying each square centimeter of The Ultimate Alphabet. Like Waldo, but weirder.