Even readers mad for all things horse won’t give this more than a quick graze before galloping off to richer pastures.

DECORATED HORSES

Bright colors and ornate furbelows flash in this survey of horsey fashion through the ages.

The vague topic and Patent’s accompanying commentary—being noticeably thin on specifics—come off as pretexts for an album of portraits for coltish horse lovers. Unfortunately, Brett doesn’t pick up the slack, as both horses and human figures posing in her flat paintings are drawn with unfinished, generic features, and the various blankets, braids, straps, plumes, fringes, saddles and pieces of armor on view are neither consistently identified nor displayed to best advantage. Grouped by function, the gallery of 14 examples opens with war horses (including armored steeds from an unspecified period of the Middle Ages and an Egyptian chariot confusingly paired to an Assyrian scenario set several centuries too early). It then goes on to portray horses trained to dance, race or compete in never-explained ways as draft teams. Following a final batch duded up for parades or, in ancient Scythia, ritual burial, a pair of labeled portraits, one of equine body parts and the other of standard tack, is shoehorned in.

Even readers mad for all things horse won’t give this more than a quick graze before galloping off to richer pastures. (index, bibliography, websites) (Nonfiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: Feb. 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-58089-362-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A-mew-sing fare for readers who sometimes feel like fraidycats themselves.

SCAREDY CAT

Two shelter cats take on a mysterious puss with weird powers who is terrorizing the feline community.

Hardly have timorous (and aptly named) Poop and her sophisticated buddy, Pasha, been brought home by their new “human beans” for a two-week trial than they are accosted by fiery-eyed Scaredy Cat, utterly trashing the kitchen with a click of his claws and, hissing that he’s in charge of the neighborhood, threatening that if they don’t act like proper cats—disdaining ordinary cat food and any summons (they are not dogs, after all), clawing the furniture instead of the scratching post, and showing like “cattitude”—it’ll be back to the shelter for them. Will Poop and Pasha prove to be fraidycats or flee to the cowed clowder of homeless cats hiding from the bully in the nearby woods? Nope, they are made of sterner stuff and resolutely set out to enlist feline allies in a “quest for life, liberty, and the pursuit of purrs!” Cast into a gazillion very short chapters related by furry narrators Poop and Pasha, who are helpfully depicted in portrait vignettes by Herzog at each chapter’s head, the ensuing adventures test the defiant kitties’ courage (and, in some cases, attention spans) on the way to a spooky but poignant climax set, appropriately enough as it happens, in a pet graveyard.

A-mew-sing fare for readers who sometimes feel like fraidycats themselves. (Adventure. 9-11)

Pub Date: March 15, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-316-49443-4

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Jimmy Patterson/Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A waggish tale with a serious (and timely) theme.

KATT VS. DOGG

An age-old rivalry is reluctantly put aside when two young vacationers are lost in the wilderness.

Anthropomorphic—in body if definitely not behavior—Dogg Scout Oscar and pampered Molly Hissleton stray from their separate camps, meet by chance in a trackless magic forest, and almost immediately recognize that their only chance of survival, distasteful as the notion may be, lies in calling a truce. Patterson and Grabenstein really work the notion here that cooperation is better than prejudice founded on ignorance and habit, interspersing explicit exchanges on the topic while casting the squabbling pair with complementary abilities that come out as they face challenges ranging from finding food to escaping such predators as a mountain lion and a pack of vicious “weaselboars.” By the time they cross a wide river (on a raft steered by “Old Jim,” an otter whose homespun utterances are generally cribbed from Mark Twain—an uneasy reference) back to civilization, the two are BFFs. But can that friendship survive the return, with all the social and familial pressures to resume the old enmity? A climactic cage-match–style confrontation before a worked-up multispecies audience provides the answer. In the illustrations (not seen in finished form) López plops wide-eyed animal heads atop clothed, more or less human forms and adds dialogue balloons for punchlines.

A waggish tale with a serious (and timely) theme. (Fantasy. 9-11)

Pub Date: April 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-316-41156-1

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Jimmy Patterson/Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more