THE TERRIBLE HODAG AND THE ANIMAL CATCHERS by Caroline Arnold

THE TERRIBLE HODAG AND THE ANIMAL CATCHERS

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 6 - 8
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Arnold places upper-Midwestern tall-tale figures at the center of an original story about a group of loggers defending a friendly monster from a trio of inept collectors. The huge Hodag might have (as Arnold repeatedly notes) “the head of an ox, feet of a bear, back of a dinosaur and tail of an alligator,” but it’s actually a mild-mannered creature with a fondness for blueberries. In consequence, when zookeepers arrive to capture it, logger Olee Swenson and his crew carefully misdirect them, helping the Hodag to muddle its trails to boot. Sandford illustrates with strong-lined black and white caricatures that look like wood engravings, portraying the Hodag as described (more or less—he never does get the glowing eyes quite right). The loggers are appropriately burly and the hunters are citified fools, who are—ultimately—tricked into falling into their own Hodag trap and are suddenly eager to promise to go away and never return. The telling is a bit stiff, but this Hodag, unlike the ones in older yarns and doctored photographs, seems more friendly than fearsome, and tales about it are rare enough that it may be new to young readers. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 15th, 2006
ISBN: 1-59078-166-X
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Boyds Mills
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2005




Kirkus Interview
John Sandford
author of SATURN RUN
October 6, 2015

Saturn Run, John Sandford’s new novel, is quite a departure for the bestselling thriller writer, who sets aside his Lucas Davenport crime franchise (Gathering Prey, 2015, etc.) and partners with photographer and sci-fi buff Ctein to leave Earth’s gravitational field for the rings of Saturn. The year is 2066. A Caltech intern inadvertently notices an anomaly from a space telescope—something is approaching Saturn, and decelerating. Space objects don’t decelerate; spaceships do. A flurry of top-level government meetings produces the inescapable conclusion: whatever built that ship is at least 100 years ahead in hard and soft technology, and whoever can get their hands on it exclusively and bring it back will have an advantage so large, no other nation can compete. A conclusion the Chinese definitely agree with when they find out. The race is on. “James Bond meets Tom Swift, with the last word reserved not for extraterrestrial encounters but for international piracy, state secrets, and a spot of satisfyingly underhanded political pressure,” our reviewer writes. View video >

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