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From the Dagfrid, Viking Girl series , Vol. 2

Wily, undercutting narration translates drudgery into problem-solving.

Viking girl Dagfrid struggles against gender roles.

Dagfrid’s sheltered older brother, Odalrik, is kept home while the other boys “burn and pillage villages.” Instead, he lounges on his boat and occasionally practices for his warrior future by running and yelling at livestock. Meanwhile, Dagfrid’s kept busy with endless chores. When her grandmother announces she has the honor of preparing a codfish feast for the chieftains (all the village’s men), she asks her parents why she must work while her brother relaxes and hears stories about the ridiculous vows to Thor her parents made before marrying. Odalrik, who’s bored beyond belief at not being allowed to do anything useful, tells Dagfrid about yet another set of silly parental vows—all concerning duties for male and female children. The siblings go behind their elders’ backs and join forces to cook the feast, giving Odalrik a break from boredom and a chance to learn something and lightening Dagfrid’s workload. Countering the silly, restrictive vows from before, the siblings vow to each other that they’ll allow any children they have to choose their own activities. Readers of this French import will enjoy Dagfrid’s modern, pragmatic mindset juxtaposed with the puerile, unquestioning adults—and that the kids tackle these conflicts themselves. In expressive, active spot illustrations, all characters are White.

Wily, undercutting narration translates drudgery into problem-solving. (Historical fiction. 6-9)

Pub Date: April 4, 2023

ISBN: 9781646908059

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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