THE PAGEMASTER by David Kirschner


Age Range: 10 - 12
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 A phobic 10-year-old is trapped in a library of animated literary classics in this earnest, handsomely set out, but uninspired tale from Hanna-Barbera's CEO (creator of ``An American Tail'') and a staff writer. Fleeing a thunderstorm, Richie Tyler comes on a large building guarded by marble lions; inside, ``Mr. Dewey'' hands him a library card and sends him into the shadowy stacks, where he falls in with three stubby-limbed companions- -''Adventure,'' in eyepatch and bandanna, motherly ``Fantasy,'' and purple, self-pitying ``Horror.'' Together, they witness Captain Ahab's climactic encounter with Moby Dick, are held prisoner by Long John Silver, and flee on a magic carpet from a fire-breathing dragon, among other brief encounters. The heavy, coated stock and big, bright illustrations give the book a substantial feel at odds with its contents; the authors capture little of the flavor or spirit of their sources (and have a strange idea of what 10-year- olds want to read). The writing can be bombastic (``Fiction A to Z!...The place where a child's imagination can take root and grow to incredible heights!''), and Richie is a cartoon character at best. Looking for a fictive gateway to good books? Entice readers with Anne Lindbergh's imaginative Travel Far, Pay No Fare (1992). (Fiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 1-878685-43-0
Page count: 96pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 1993


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