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From the Dagfrid, Viking Girl series , Vol. 1

A witty, engaging heroine sparkles in this series opener.

In this French import, Dagfrid learns the grass is always greener on the other island.

Dagfrid’s not a fan of Viking girlhood—she’s not into the double bun hairstyle; she dislikes the “superlong dress” that she’s supposed to wear; and, worse, she hates everything about fish, a staple on their island. She modifies the customs to her liking—she keeps her hair in practical braids and sews herself a pair of pants—and then has her brother teach her to build a boat (in exchange for showing him how to sew). Then, Dagfrid sets sail in hopes of finding “something to do somewhere besides eating fish!” She discovers an island inhabited by Viking girls much like her, except they’re sick and tired of eating sheep and enduring the smell of sheep fat lamps. Dagfrid trades fishing and boat-building lessons for some sheep. Back home, her introduction of livestock adds variety to her people’s diet and opens the door for more practical, medium-length dresses (though she still prefers her pants). Dagfrid is a winning protagonist. Her charming first-person narration manages to slip in some historical information (e.g., turf houses) but generally plays up Viking tropes in a cartoonish way that’s calibrated for reader enjoyment. Expressive spot art is equally charming. All characters are White. Book 2 publishes simultaneously.

A witty, engaging heroine sparkles in this series opener. (Historical fiction. 6-9)

Pub Date: April 4, 2023

ISBN: 9781646908042

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Arctis Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 24, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2023

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Multiple taps transform a giggling block of wood in Geppetto’s workshop into a skinny, loose jointed puppet that suddenly...

Unusually brisk special effects animate this relatively less satiric but equally amusing adaptation of the classic tale.

Multiple taps transform a giggling block of wood in Geppetto’s workshop into a skinny, loose jointed puppet that suddenly delivers a Bronx cheer and then whirls away on a long series of misadventures. These culminate in a final change into a flesh-and-blood boy with help from a fingertip “paintbrush.” Quick and responsive touch- or tilt-activated features range from controllable marionettes, Pinocchio’s tattletale nose and Fire-Eater’s explosive sneeze to a movable candle that illuminates both Geppetto in the fish’s dark belly and the accompanying block of text. Even the thumbnail page images of the index (which opens any time with a shake of the tablet) tumble about, somehow without falling out of order. Though transitions are almost nonexistent in the episodic plot, the text is both substantial enough to have a definite presence and artfully placed in and around Conversi’s brightly colored settings and toylike figures. Text is available in English or Italian with a clear, understated optional audio narration backed by unobtrusive music. A link on the credits page leads to downloadable coloring sheets on the producer’s website.

Pub Date: March 17, 2011


Page Count: -

Publisher: Elastico srl

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2011

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From the Kondo & Kezumi series , Vol. 1

A story of friendship that is both lively and lovely

Two friends embark upon a high-seas adventure.

Kondo, a large lemon-colored creature with wide round eyes, spends his day on his island home with his best friend, tangerine-hued Kezumi. Together, they frolic on their idyllic isle picking berries (tall Kondo nabs the higher fruit while Kezumi helps to retrieve the lower) while surrounded by tiny “flitter-birds” and round “fluffle-bunnies.” One day, Kezumi finds a map in a bottle that declares “WE ARE NOT ALONE.” Inspired by visions of a larger world, Kondo and Kezumi fashion a boat from a bathtub and set sail. The pair visits fantastical islands—deliciously cheese-laden Dairy Isle, the fiery and fearsome Fireskull Island—until they eventually settle upon the titular Giant Island, where they meet Albert, a gigantic gray talking mountain who is—obviously—unable to leave. Enthralled by his new friends, Albert wants them to stay forever. After Albert makes a fraught decision, Kondo and Kezumi find themselves at a crossroads and must confront their new friend. Goodner and Tsurumi’s brightly illustrated chapter book should find favor with fans of Kate DiCamillo and Chris Van Dusen’s similarly designed Mercy Watson series. Short, wry, descriptive sentences make for an equally enjoyable experience whether read aloud or independently. Episodic chapters move the action along jauntily; the conclusion is somewhat abrupt, but it promises more exploration and adventures for the best friends. (This review was originally published in the June 1, 2019, issue. The book data has been updated to reflect changes in publisher and date of publication.)

A story of friendship that is both lively and lovely (Fantasy. 6-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 27, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-368-02577-5

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 7, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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