A thought-provoking story with timely resonance.




This nonfiction picture book chronicles the events surrounding a fake 1930s news story about a sea monster on Nantucket Island.

In 1937, Nantucket’s Inquirer and Mirror newspaper printed an interview with a man who said he saw a strange ocean creature. More eyewitnesses came forward; gigantic footprints appeared in the sand, and people contacted scientists. A rumor flew that the creature was caught, which turned out to be untrue. Around the country, frightened people read about the Nantucket Sea Monster before the truth was revealed: The “monster” was a 135-foot balloon created for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Everything from the eyewitness statements to the footprints was part of a publicity stunt orchestrated by puppeteer Tony Sarg, and the Inquirer and Mirror admitted to collaboration. Pattison (Road Whiz, 2018, etc.) sticks to the facts, with exact dates of events and dialogue taken directly from actual newspaper articles. However, the wry, playful delivery (“The story was gaining credibility. After all, the newspaper printed the stories, so it had to be true”) keeps things entertaining, brilliantly inviting discussion about hoaxes while remaining kid-appropriate. Back matter includes a glossary and a history of freedom of the press and fake news. Willis’ (Clang!, 2018, etc.) paint-and–mixed-media collage pieces complement the story wonderfully.

A thought-provoking story with timely resonance.

Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-62944-082-8

Page Count: 34

Publisher: Mims House

Review Posted Online: May 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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A festive invitation to creative liberation.


A pleasingly tactile exploration of the possibilities inherent in mistakes.

"A torn piece of paper... / is just the beginning!" Spills, folded paper, drips of paint, smudges and smears—they "all can make magic appear." An increasingly complex series of scenarios celebrates random accidents, encouraging artistic experimentation rather than discouragement. The folded-over paper can be a penguin's head; a torn piece of newsprint can turn into a smiling dog with a little application of paint; a hot-chocolate stain can become a bog for a frog. Thanks to a telescoping pop-up, a hole is filled with nearly limitless possibilities. The interactive elements work beautifully with the photo-collaged "mistakes," never overwhelming the intent with showiness. Saltzberg's trademark cartoon animals provide a sweetly childlike counterpoint to the artful scribbles and smears of gloppy paint.

A festive invitation to creative liberation. (Pop-up. 4-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 23, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-7611-5728-1

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Workman

Review Posted Online: Dec. 10, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2010

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Adults wishing to expand the worldviews of their young charges beyond Eurocentric interpretations will find plenty of visual...


From the Once Upon a World series

A retelling of the classic fairy tale with India as its setting.

This latest addition to the Once Upon A World series tells the well-known story of the maiden with beautiful long tresses locked away in a tower by an evil witch and the prince who falls in love with her. As with Perkins’ Cinderella (illustrated by Sandra Equihua, 2016) and Snow White (illustrated by Misa Saburi, 2016), the text has been simplified for a younger audience, and the distinguishing twist here is its setting in India. The mixed-media illustrations of plants, animals, village life, and, of course, Rapunzel, the witch, and the prince come alive in warm, saturated colors. Other than the visuals, there is little to differentiate the story from traditional tellings. As always, it is still the prince who will eventually lead Rapunzel to her salvation by taking her to his kingdom far away from the witch, but that is the nature of fairy tales. The only quibble with this book and indeed with this series is the board-book format. Given the fact that the audience most likely to enjoy it is beyond the board-book age, a full-size book would have done more justice to the vibrant artwork.

Adults wishing to expand the worldviews of their young charges beyond Eurocentric interpretations will find plenty of visual delights in this one, though they’ll wish it were bigger. (Board book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 21, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4814-9072-6

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: April 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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