A bit awkward to follow considering its length and orientation but truly a grand tour

MEGALOPOLIS

AND THE VISITOR FROM OUTER SPACE

An extraplanetary visitor’s city visit literally unfolds in this unusually formatted panorama.

Presented on a 12-foot-long vertical strip that has been rolled up and pressed flat, the itinerary moves down from high towers at the beginning though zigzag streets and winding canals and eventually into deep subterranean reaches. Each successive flip adds both a block of descriptive narrative and new streets and sights for the intergalactic tourist and for kneeling viewers (a hallway or large room will be required to see this in its entirety) to discover simultaneously. Along with lots of amusing details and side activity, there’s also a seek-and-find element, as the green extraterrestrial, recurring in each segment, is just one tiny figure among many. So warm are the welcoming rounds of parades and other festivities from the city’s residents—all of whom are notably diverse in skin color and dress—that the ET asks to stay on. Drama and romance ensue as the new immigrant is temporarily “overpowered by a praline” but then meets and marries a mermaid. So off the two honeymooners course, past a smiling monster at the city’s lowest point and beyond the bottom corner. Dieudonné’s scenes are festooned with tiny, active figures (including interracial and possibly same-sex couples as well as some instances of ethnic stereotypes). Still, they don’t look overcrowded, and despite flattened, sometimes skewed perspectives, the seamless transitions add to her composition’s overall visual unity.

A bit awkward to follow considering its length and orientation but truly a grand tour . (Novelty. 6-9)

Pub Date: May 10, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-500-65069-1

Page Count: 38

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2016

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Fans both young and formerly young will be pleased—100 percent.

HORTON AND THE KWUGGERBUG AND MORE LOST STORIES

Published in magazines, never seen since / Now resurrected for pleasure intense / Versified episodes numbering four / Featuring Marco, and Horton and more!

All of the entries in this follow-up to The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories (2011) involve a certain amount of sharp dealing. Horton carries a Kwuggerbug through crocodile-infested waters and up a steep mountain because “a deal is a deal”—and then is cheated out of his promised share of delicious Beezlenuts. Officer Pat heads off escalating, imagined disasters on Mulberry Street by clubbing a pesky gnat. Marco (originally met on that same Mulberry Street) concocts a baroque excuse for being late to school. In the closer, a smooth-talking Grinch (not the green sort) sells a gullible Hoobub a piece of string. In a lively introduction, uber-fan Charles D. Cohen (The Seuss, The Whole Seuss, and Nothing but the Seuss, 2002) provides publishing histories, places characters and settings in Seussian context, and offers insights into, for instance, the origin of “Grinch.” Along with predictably engaging wordplay—“He climbed. He grew dizzy. His ankles grew numb. / But he climbed and he climbed and he clum and he clum”—each tale features bright, crisply reproduced renditions of its original illustrations. Except for “The Hoobub and the Grinch,” which has been jammed into a single spread, the verses and pictures are laid out in spacious, visually appealing ways.

Fans both young and formerly young will be pleased—100 percent. (Picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 9, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-385-38298-4

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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An all-day sugar rush, putting the “fun” back into, er, education.

IF I BUILT A SCHOOL

A young visionary describes his ideal school: “Perfectly planned and impeccably clean. / On a scale, 1 to 10, it’s more like 15!”

In keeping with the self-indulgently fanciful lines of If I Built a Car (2005) and If I Built a House (2012), young Jack outlines in Seussian rhyme a shiny, bright, futuristic facility in which students are swept to open-roofed classes in clear tubes, there are no tests but lots of field trips, and art, music, and science are afterthoughts next to the huge and awesome gym, playground, and lunchroom. A robot and lots of cute puppies (including one in a wheeled cart) greet students at the door, robotically made-to-order lunches range from “PB & jelly to squid, lightly seared,” and the library’s books are all animated popups rather than the “everyday regular” sorts. There are no guards to be seen in the spacious hallways—hardly any adults at all, come to that—and the sparse coed student body features light- and dark-skinned figures in roughly equal numbers, a few with Asian features, and one in a wheelchair. Aside from the lack of restrooms, it seems an idyllic environment—at least for dog-loving children who prefer sports and play over quieter pursuits.

An all-day sugar rush, putting the “fun” back into, er, education. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-55291-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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