This is one journey to skip.


A child embarks on an imaginary international journey, using many conveyances, in recalling all the items lost on previous trips.

The text, originally French, is in four-line stanzas, mostly in an aabb rhyming pattern, that are occasionally awkward in English: “In the deep, black waters of Loch Ness, / my mind wandered off and I forgot my address! / When I saw a yeti trying to get a fishy bite, / my stomach floated off and I lost my appetite.” In the accompanying spread, the child helms a yellow submarine, a green Nessie swims nearby, and a large white creature on a boat tries to grab fish with a net. Two fish have some writing on their bodies: the forgotten address? Happily, there appears to be no image of the stomach or the appetite that has floated off. Although the last page, with its short list of facts about some places mentioned, instructs readers to look for the lost items, some ephemeral items seem impossible to find. Concrete objects can be found with close looking: a jacket at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, a scarf around the neck of the Statue of Liberty, both mentioned in the accompanying text. Some items are more metaphorical. Can readers “find my mind” as the girl requests, when she ventures into outer space? Although the whimsical multimedia illustrations are often engaging, this world journey offers little engagement with people and a very cursory view of iconic sights.

This is one journey to skip. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4598-2178-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Orca

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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Although the author may be famous in the adult literary world, this story is not a success.


A well-known New Zealand writer for adults offers children a tale about an inanimate object who wants to live like a person.

A mountain walks to town, where it meets Thomas, a white boy who stays behind when all the other people flee, and says: “I only want to live in a house.” Thomas decides that the mountain is too large for any house. There is a folkloric element to the tale, as Thomas tries in three ways to help the mountain get his wish. First he attempts to shrink the mountain with soap and water and then chips away at the stone. Finally, he decides that his father, an artist, will paint the mountain’s picture and put it in a house. He persuades the mountain that it can remain a place where people can enjoy picnicking and skiing and still live in a house with people, a Solomonic solution that may not resonate with the intended audience. The acrylic paintings, mostly in shades of brown and gray, are realistically rendered, except when the mountain comes to life with the craggy, anthropomorphized face of a sculpted idol. There is a surrealist, static feel to some of the paintings, and the language, no doubt aspiring as well to the folkloric, is stilted.

Although the author may be famous in the adult literary world, this story is not a success. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: April 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-76036-002-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Starfish Bay

Review Posted Online: Feb. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2016

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“Ham and eggs!”—you don’t want to miss this! (Graphic/fiction hybrid. 5-7)


From the Kung Pow Chicken series , Vol. 1

Can Kung Pow Chicken and Egg Drop beat the bad guys and be home in time for dinner?

Second-grade chicken Gordon Blue and his still partially egg-bound little brother Benedict are mild-mannered chicks until they fall into a vat of toxic sludge in their uncle Quack’s lab. Suddenly, Gordon has birdy sense that tingles when danger is near. He can flap superfast, and his clucks are louder than any chicken’s (“His bok [is] worse than his bite”). He promises to use his powers only for good (and to keep his room tidy). Since he’s never met a bad guy, he has to do normal chicken things…until everyone starts losing their feathers at the Fowl Fall Festival in Fowladelphia. Could it be Granny Goosebumps’ yucky glowing cookies? She’s making money wing over fist selling itchy sweaters to all the naked chickens. Soon Kung Pow Chicken is “locked in a battle of knits” with the nefarious Granny and her knitting needles. When she escapes, can Kung Pow Chicken overcome his self-doubt and save the City of Featherly Love? First of four to be released over the course of the next year and part of Scholastic’s Branches line of heavily illustrated easy chapter books, Marko’s debut is a perfectly puntastic page-turner. Hybrids of comics and traditional pictures, the goofy all-color illustrations propel the fast-moving, high-interest story.

“Ham and eggs!”—you don’t want to miss this! (Graphic/fiction hybrid. 5-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-545-61062-9

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Branches/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 2, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2013

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