Ultimately, this attempt to show how archeology can provide answers to ancient history’s mysteries disappoints.

JODIE'S PASSOVER ADVENTURE

A Passover family picnic is preceded by a quick exploration of and discovery beneath the ground in the Old City of Jerusalem.

During the week of Passover, archeology enthusiast Jodie is eager to escort her visiting cousin Zach on a tour of the ancient Hezekiah’s Tunnel, which is famous for its strategic water passages. Zach is initially reluctant, and he imagines terrors as he enters the deep, dark and wet tunnel. "Evidence" of dragons, monsters and dinosaurs is logically explained away by Jodie as mold, shadows and chisel marks left on the walls by the tunnel creators. With the help of a flashlight, the cousins solve the "riddle of the middle" pointed out by Jodie’s father at the beginning of their tour. Opaque double-page illustrations move the story from outside the tunnel, where no clear entrance is indicated, through to a wall of markings, supposedly drawn from opposite directions, that show the original tunnel workings dug from two different points and meeting in the middle. Unlike predecessor Jodie’s Hanukkah Dig (2008), which wove together themes of bravery and resilience, this story has nothing at all to do with the titular holiday.

Ultimately, this attempt to show how archeology can provide answers to ancient history’s mysteries disappoints. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7613-5642-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kar-Ben

Review Posted Online: Jan. 9, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Only for dedicated fans of the series.

HOW TO CATCH A MONSTER

From the How to Catch… series

When a kid gets the part of the ninja master in the school play, it finally seems to be the right time to tackle the closet monster.

“I spot my monster right away. / He’s practicing his ROAR. / He almost scares me half to death, / but I won’t be scared anymore!” The monster is a large, fluffy poison-green beast with blue hands and feet and face and a fluffy blue-and-green–striped tail. The kid employs a “bag of tricks” to try to catch the monster: in it are a giant wind-up shark, two cans of silly string, and an elaborate cage-and-robot trap. This last works, but with an unexpected result: the monster looks sad. Turns out he was only scaring the boy to wake him up so they could be friends. The monster greets the boy in the usual monster way: he “rips a massive FART!!” that smells like strawberries and lime, and then they go to the monster’s house to meet his parents and play. The final two spreads show the duo getting ready for bed, which is a rather anticlimactic end to what has otherwise been a rambunctious tale. Elkerton’s bright illustrations have a TV-cartoon aesthetic, and his playful beast is never scary. The narrator is depicted with black eyes and hair and pale skin. Wallace’s limping verses are uninspired at best, and the scansion and meter are frequently off.

Only for dedicated fans of the series. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4926-4894-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A touching, beautifully illustrated story of greatest interest to those in the New York City area.

RED AND LULU

A pair of cardinals is separated and then reunited when their tree home is moved to New York City to serve as the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.

The male cardinal, Red, and his female partner, Lulu, enjoy their home in a huge evergreen tree located in the front yard of a small house in a pleasant neighborhood. When the tree is cut down and hauled away on a truck, Lulu is still inside the tree. Red follows the truck into the city but loses sight of it and gets lost. The birds are reunited when Red finds the tree transformed with colored lights and serving as the Christmas tree in a complex of city buildings. When the tree is removed after Christmas, the birds find a new home in a nearby park. Each following Christmas, the pair visit the new tree erected in the same location. Attractive illustrations effectively handle some difficult challenges of dimension and perspective and create a glowing, magical atmosphere for the snowy Christmas trees. The original owners of the tree are a multiracial family with two children; the father is African-American and the mother is white. The family is in the background in the early pages, reappearing again skating on the rink at Rockefeller Center with their tree in the background.

A touching, beautifully illustrated story of greatest interest to those in the New York City area. (author’s note) (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 19, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-7733-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more