A vivid mix of local color and tongue-in-cheek wit, albeit with loud sour notes.

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HALF THE LIES YOU TELL ARE NOT TRUE

From a Labrador native, homespun “recitations” in equally homespun rhyme.

Written for oral performance (most are available as recordings) and easy to read aloud despite plenty of regional jargon, these 13 original yarns feature big dollops of wry humor. There’s fog thick enough to eat (“Mother used to dice it with pork fat and onions, / Or she’d mix it with mustard as a poultice for bunions”); the horrific consequences of trying to unclog a septic tank using a pump fitted with an old boat motor; and the experiences of a “Man of La Manche,” who is abducted not by aliens but Capt. Kirk, attempting to beam a moose up to the Enterprise. Recurring characters include 90-year-old “Super Nan,” who vanquishes a bullying polar bear at Bingo, and Uncle Jim Buckle. Paddon trips hard over the edges of good taste in “Berries,” a violent tale of a berry-picking war during which Jim takes a second wife, “a woman best described as Atilla the Hen,” after his first is killed by a land mine—but even that one comes to an uproarious climax, followed by an amicable resolution: “I guess blood’s…even thicker than jam.” It’s hard to tell from the small, roughly drawn figures in Major’s appropriately sober vignettes, but the (human) cast is likely all white. The glossary is extensive and essential for readers outside of Newfoundland and Labrador.

A vivid mix of local color and tongue-in-cheek wit, albeit with loud sour notes. (Verse tales. 11-15)

Pub Date: March 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-927917-15-2

Page Count: 88

Publisher: Running the Goat

Review Posted Online: Feb. 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

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ONCE UPON A MARIGOLD

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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Misleadingly titled but broader in scope and less Eurocentric than standard surveys.

A JOURNEY THROUGH ART

A GLOBAL HISTORY

A world tour featuring select highlights of human culture, from 37,000-year-old rock paintings to modern murals and architecture.

Title notwithstanding, after a visit to the prehistoric petroglyphs at Nawarla Gabarnmung in northern Australia (and with a 19th-century stop at Haida Gwaii for a gander at Pacific Northwest Native woodcarving), Rosen focuses more on cities or large settlements and urban ways of life through the ages than on specific works or styles of art. His itinerary is determinedly “global,” though, covering every continent but Antarctica from 13th-century B.C.E. Thebes to art and architecture created for the 2016 Rio Olympics. Each stop along the way opens with an overview of the site and its distinctive character accompanied by a wide-angle picture painted by Dalzell and dotted with tiny clipped photos of statues or other figures. On the following spread further concise observations on customs and culture accompany three or four smaller (sometimes, alas, minuscule) photos of significant monuments, artifacts, or paintings with explanatory notes. Though the author hustles readers past the Rosetta Stone and Leonardo’s Vitruvian Man without benefit of visuals, a satiric Egyptian papyrus offers an eye-opening treat—and in more recent times he boosts the presence of women among his sparse tally of artists by, for instance, pairing works of Judith Leyster and Rembrandt, Mary Cassatt with Claude Monet.

Misleadingly titled but broader in scope and less Eurocentric than standard surveys. (glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: April 3, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-500-65101-8

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2018

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