A tongue-in-cheek tale with serious underpinnings, enhanced by inventively designed visuals.



Following a crash landing in the Baltic, a motley crew of space aliens encounters strange creatures (well, Finns) in this briskly paced, eco-themed import.

The seven furry Jörgits’ hopes of rescuing their icy home using Earth’s “Terra Forming” technology are dashed by the discovery that that “technology” is actually just humans’ irresponsibly messing up their own planet. Nevertheless, they ally with 11-year-old Jenny and her inventor/musician father, Joonas, to escape and then defeat a genially evil tycoon set on raising a “New Atlantis” after our society collapses. Along the way, the Jörgits also discover coffee (“…wonderful! It tasted like a mixture of burnt rubber and dirt”), plus the delights of shopping, sauna and skiing. Left with a sequel-ready open end, the tale is told in 14 chapters (plus a hidden one, unlocked by tapping five well-hidden Easter eggs) of fluent, colloquial prose with humorous side notes on sliding panels and a handy strip index. The retro-style illustrations are rendered in pastels and blocky shapes, and they range from full-screen static views to melodramatic video clips, tilt-sensitive animations, a spreadable tourist map of Helsinki and, particularly noteworthy, several panning scenes on which atmospheric musical compositions can be tapped out.

A tongue-in-cheek tale with serious underpinnings, enhanced by inventively designed visuals. (iPad science-fiction app. 9-11)

Pub Date: March 20, 2013


Page Count: -

Publisher: Tank and Bear LLC

Review Posted Online: June 26, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2013

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From the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series , Vol. 1

First volume of a planned three, this edited version of an ongoing online serial records a middle-school everykid’s triumphs and (more often) tribulations through the course of a school year. Largely through his own fault, mishaps seem to plague Greg at every turn, from the minor freak-outs of finding himself permanently seated in class between two pierced stoners and then being saddled with his mom for a substitute teacher, to being forced to wrestle in gym with a weird classmate who has invited him to view his “secret freckle.” Presented in a mix of legible “hand-lettered” text and lots of simple cartoon illustrations with the punch lines often in dialogue balloons, Greg’s escapades, unwavering self-interest and sardonic commentary are a hoot and a half—certain to elicit both gales of giggles and winces of sympathy (not to mention recognition) from young readers. (Fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: April 1, 2007

ISBN: 0-8109-9313-9

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2007

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However the compelling fitness of theme and event and the apt but unexpected imagery (the opening sentences compare the...


At a time when death has become an acceptable, even voguish subject in children's fiction, Natalie Babbitt comes through with a stylistic gem about living forever. 

Protected Winnie, the ten-year-old heroine, is not immortal, but when she comes upon young Jesse Tuck drinking from a secret spring in her parents' woods, she finds herself involved with a family who, having innocently drunk the same water some 87 years earlier, haven't aged a moment since. Though the mood is delicate, there is no lack of action, with the Tucks (previously suspected of witchcraft) now pursued for kidnapping Winnie; Mae Tuck, the middle aged mother, striking and killing a stranger who is onto their secret and would sell the water; and Winnie taking Mae's place in prison so that the Tucks can get away before she is hanged from the neck until....? Though Babbitt makes the family a sad one, most of their reasons for discontent are circumstantial and there isn't a great deal of wisdom to be gleaned from their fate or Winnie's decision not to share it. 

However the compelling fitness of theme and event and the apt but unexpected imagery (the opening sentences compare the first week in August when this takes place to "the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning") help to justify the extravagant early assertion that had the secret about to be revealed been known at the time of the action, the very earth "would have trembled on its axis like a beetle on a pin." (Fantasy. 9-11)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1975

ISBN: 0312369816

Page Count: 164

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1975

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