THE COMPLETE BOOK OF DRAGONS

The author's fans will welcome this edition of nine dragon stories, all but one of them written for The Strand Magazine in 1899 and published together a year later, though as they've generally aged less gracefully than her full-length novels we wouldn't choose this as any child's introduction to Nesbit. Her mock morals now seem less amusing than they must have in 1900, her arch asides to readers verge on the precious, and that whimsical geography and natural history (as in the Kingdom of Rotundia, where the elephant, "dear little pet," is the size of a silly muff dog and the dormouse is "the biggest creature of all") can be carried to tiresome lengths. Yet her masterful, matter-of-fact juxtaposition of the ordinary, the fabulous and the wildly ridiculous is in disarming evidence throughout — whether in details such as the "universal tap room" wherein two children, the "Deliverers of Their Country," turn on the rain taps and wash a horde of invading dragons off to sea; or throughout the adroitly tongue-in-cheek fairy tale of an enchanted princess, a sailor boy who overcomes a guardian dragon and nine whirlpools to rescue her from an island tower, and a witch who gives up her magic for the queen's gratitude. And even the whimsy has its redeeming triumphs — at least for those of us who can't resist an opening in which a child is summoned from his nursery blocks by Nurse's announcement: "Master Lionel, dear, they've come to fetch you to go and be King.

Pub Date: March 5, 1973

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1973

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A witty addition to the long-running series.

THE DEEP END

From the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series , Vol. 15

The Wimpy Kid hits the road.

The Heffley clan has been stuck living together in Gramma’s basement for two months, waiting for the family home to be repaired, and the constant togetherness has been getting on everybody’s nerves. Luckily Greg’s Uncle Gary has a camper waiting for someone to use it, and so the Heffleys set off on the open road looking for an adventurous vacation, hoping the changing scenery will bring a spark back to the family unit. The winding road leads the Heffleys to a sprawling RV park, a setting teeming with possibilities for Greg to get up to his usual shenanigans. Greg’s snarky asides and misadventures continue to entertain. At this point the Wimpy Kid books run like a well-oiled machine, paced perfectly with witty lines, smart gags, and charming cartoons. Kinney knows just where to put a joke, the precise moment to give a character shading, and exactly how to get the narrative rolling, spinning out the oddest plot developments. The appreciation Kinney has for these characters seeps through the novels, endearing the Heffleys to readers even through this title, the 15th installment in a franchise boasting spinoffs, movies, and merchandise. There may come a time when Greg and his family overstay their welcome, but thankfully that day still seems far off.

A witty addition to the long-running series. (Humor. 7-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 27, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4197-4868-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2020

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Fans of this popular series will find this a rewarding addition to family Easter celebrations.

GOD GAVE US EASTER

From the God Gave Us You series

Bergren and Bryant attempt to explain Easter to young children in a gentle, nonthreatening manner, with partial success.

When Little Cub questions her father about Easter, Papa Bear explains the religious significance of the holiday in various symbolic ways to his cub. He uses familiar things from their world, such as an egg and a fallen tree, to draw parallels with aspects of the Christian story. Papa Bear discusses his close relationships with Jesus and God, encouraging Little Cub to communicate with God on her own. The theme focuses on the renewal of life and the positive aspects of loving God and Jesus. Easter is presented as a celebration of eternal life, but the story skirts the issue of the crucifixion entirely. Some adults will find this an inadequate or even dishonest approach to the Easter story, but others will appreciate the calm and soothing text as a way to begin to understand a difficult subject. Bryant’s charming watercolor illustrations of the polar bear family, their cozy home and snowy forest scenes add to the overall mellow effect.

Fans of this popular series will find this a rewarding addition to family Easter celebrations. (Religion/picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 15, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-307-73072-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: WaterBrook

Review Posted Online: Dec. 12, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2013

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