Adventurous writings for literary risk-takers and thrill-seekers.



A collection of original prose and poetry that ranges from thoughtful to provocative and from experimental to really far-out.

Poet and mother Lomax assembled these avant-garde writings from contributors around the country as a showcase for their talents and to encourage children to literally take their own pencils outside proscribed boundaries. The short stories, playlets, concrete poetry and wordplay are all free-flowing and decidedly nontraditional. Their sentiments are sometimes warm and tender, sometimes humorous and sometimes weird. The more than 80 contributors include those remembering moments from their Mexican-American, Indian, Danish and Iraqi childhoods and heritages. Roald Dahl, Nietzsche and the Bible are sources of inspiration for others. Ecology enters into the mix in verse about endangered manatees. Children recreate a Yoko Ono activity in a “Hide and Seek Piece.” In one of the more entertaining entries, a poet imagines “scenes from the life of a sweater: / your mother bought me for you / july is moth month for my closet kin / i come from a close-knit family / you can get pulled over in a cardigan.” Teachers and students willing to take a giant leap beyond conventionality may find inspiration here. Straightforward of design, the volume is illustrated with black-and-white line drawings and photographs, and blank pages are appended.

Adventurous writings for literary risk-takers and thrill-seekers. (author biographies, afterword) (Anthology. 10-14)

Pub Date: June 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-9850837-6-2

Page Count: 178

Publisher: Black Radish

Review Posted Online: April 24, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2013

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In a large, handsome format, Tarnowska offers six tales plus an abbreviated version of the frame story, retold in formal but contemporary language and sandwiched between a note on the Nights’ place in her childhood in Lebanon and a page of glossary and source notes. Rather than preserve the traditional embedded structure and cliffhanger cutoffs, she keeps each story discrete and tones down the sex and violence. This structure begs the question of why Shahriyar lets Shahrazade [sic] live if she tells each evening’s tale complete, but it serves to simplify the reading for those who want just one tale at a time. Only the opener, “Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp,” is likely to be familiar to young readers; in others a prince learns to control a flying “Ebony Horse” by “twiddling” its ears, contending djinn argue whether “Prince Kamar el Zaman [or] Princess Boudour” is the more beautiful (the prince wins) and in a Cinderella tale a “Diamond Anklet” subs for the glass slipper. Hénaff’s stylized scenes of domed cityscapes and turbaned figures add properly whimsical visual notes to this short but animated gathering. (Folktales. 10-12)


Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-84686-122-2

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Barefoot Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2010

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From the Marigold Trilogy series , Vol. 1

Cold indeed is the heart not made warm by this bubbly fairy-tale romance. Raised by a kindly forest troll, Christian knows little of the world beyond what he can see through his telescope, but gazing upon a nearby castle, he falls head over heels for Princess Marigold. What chance has he, though, as a (supposed) commoner? When at last he nerves himself to send her a message via carrier pigeon, she answers and the courtship is on—via “p-mail” at first, then, after he lands a job as a castle servant, face to face. Setting numerous fairy-tale conventions just a bit askew, Ferris (Of Sound Mind, 2001, etc.) surrounds her two smart, immensely likable teenagers, who are obviously made for each other, with rival suitors, hyperactive dogs, surprising allies, and strong adversaries. The most notable among the last is devious, domineering Queen Olympia, intent on forcing Marigold into marriage with a penniless, but noble, cipher. The author gets her commonsensical couple to “I Do” through brisk palace intrigue, life-threatening situations, riotous feasting, and general chaos; Queen Olympia gets suitable comeuppance, and the festivities are capped by the required revelation that Christian is actually heir to the throne of neighboring Zandelphia. Fans of Gail Carson Levine’s Princess Tales will be in familiar territory here, as well as seventh heaven. (Fiction. 11-13)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2002

ISBN: 0-15-216791-9

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2002

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