May inspire a few test drives but lacking in horsepower next to Leo Timmers’ Gus’s Garage (2017) or even Gail Gibbons’ staid...

AT THE GARAGE

From the Shine-a-Light series

Over the course of a day, a parade of vehicles from a motorcycle to a fire truck check in to a garage for servicing, mechanical repairs, a paint job, or a wash.

The text promises “a world of great surprises” when the illustrations of this latest entry in the Shine-a-Light series are positioned in front of a light source. The trick does give viewers a sort of X-ray vision that allows glimpses inside tool boxes and a motor home, and they can see through a building to the tow truck that’s parked around a corner. Some of the details hinted at (a mechanic attaching a huge wheel to a heavy-duty tractor, the tail fins of a 1950s-era roadster, and a car emerging from a car wash, for instance) are at least partially visible and easily recognizable in the illustrations, rendering the silhouetted, backlit view something of an anticlimax. Other details (a motorcycle being, well, detailed and underground gasoline storage tanks, for instance) are a bit more interesting. The various vehicles and tools on display are all thoroughly stylized, too. Still, Davis does stock his preternaturally tidy, clean garage with mechanics of both sexes and dark- as well as light-skinned figures, and the author closes with quick descriptive comments about each type of vehicle that stops in.

May inspire a few test drives but lacking in horsepower next to Leo Timmers’ Gus’s Garage (2017) or even Gail Gibbons’ staid Tranportation (2017). (Informational novelty. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-61067-598-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kane Miller

Review Posted Online: May 31, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2017

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THE GIRL WHO LOVED WILD HORSES

            There are many parallel legends – the seal women, for example, with their strange sad longings – but none is more direct than this American Indian story of a girl who is carried away in a horses’ stampede…to ride thenceforth by the side of a beautiful stallion who leads the wild horses.  The girl had always loved horses, and seemed to understand them “in a special way”; a year after her disappearance her people find her riding beside the stallion, calf in tow, and take her home despite his strong resistance.  But she is unhappy and returns to the stallion; after that, a beautiful mare is seen riding always beside him.  Goble tells the story soberly, allowing it to settle, to find its own level.  The illustrations are in the familiar striking Goble style, but softened out here and there with masses of flowers and foliage – suitable perhaps for the switch in subject matter from war to love, but we miss the spanking clean design of Custer’s Last Battle and The Fetterman Fight.          6-7

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1978

ISBN: 0689845049

Page Count: -

Publisher: Bradbury

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1978

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Too thin to fly as either tour or tribute but a memorable showcase nonetheless for a talented French paper artist.

MARY POPPINS UP, UP AND AWAY

From the Up, Up and Away series

Silhouettes, both printed and laser-cut, add sparkle to a quick tour of London sites and starry skies conducted by Mary Poppins.

Michael and Jane are thrilled when their nanny (literally) drops in on the end of a kite string, and spit-spot they’re off to see Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, and Piccadilly—followed by an undersea visit and a flight through comet-filled skies to a circus of constellations. As the text, translated without credit from the original French, is confined to a few wooden couplets along the lines of “On Cherry Tree Lane, it’s a nice day to dream… / To walk in the park or to eat an ice cream,” the stars of the show are Druvert’s illustrations. The black, cut pages are designed to be flipped back and forth to fill in printed cityscapes, marine scenes, and speckled firmaments with fine detail. The marvelous intricacy of the cutout fences, ironwork, trees, strands of seaweed, and small human figures leaves those pages too fragile to survive even moderately careless handling intact, but the intensely black overlay (along with a subtle use of gray tones in the backgrounds) creates a sense of depth and, often, an evocative shimmer of light. A large die-cut window in the front cover offers a hint of the visual pleasures within.

Too thin to fly as either tour or tribute but a memorable showcase nonetheless for a talented French paper artist. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 31, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-500-65104-9

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

Review Posted Online: Nov. 16, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2016

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