Great grifter dialogue, loopy dupes, and world-class conniving—not to mention more twists than a corkscrew and a truly...

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Garcia, whose loony imagination previously conjured up herb-eating dinosaur private eyes (Casual Rex, 2001, etc.), now produces a pair of foible-rich bunco artists. Frankie, who wants to hit just one big score, is a bona fide slob. Roy, who’s thinking of maybe retiring, keeps his obsessive-compulsive disorder in check with pills from Dr. Mancuso—except that the doc has moved, and until Frankie gets Roy shrunk by Dr. Klein, he’s almost certifiable. Once stabilized, Roy still isn’t sure he wants to go along with Frankie’s big idea: to hustle Saif the importer’s forgeries of famous art forgers’ work. Roy, sad to say, wants to go straight. At the instigation of his new shrink, he’s found Angela, the teenage daughter he never knew he had—the result of his long-ago marriage to Heather, who left him when she was four months pregnant—and now he’s enamored of her, fatherhood, and legitimacy. Angela, however, wants to learn a few flimflams. To Frankie’s disgust, Roy reluctantly teaches her one or two. She adores them, particularly the 7-11, and the stage is now set for the author’s double con, which will leave Roy flummoxed twice, first by Saif flashing a badge and Angela firing a gun, then by Frankie gaily living off Roy’s Bahama-stashed millions with a certain scheming teen by his side.

Great grifter dialogue, loopy dupes, and world-class conniving—not to mention more twists than a corkscrew and a truly poignant character in Roy, soon to be played by Nicolas Cage in the forthcoming Ridley Scott film.

Pub Date: Dec. 10, 2002

ISBN: 0-375-50522-9

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Villard

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2002

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THE COLORS OF US

This vibrant, thoughtful book from Katz (Over the Moon, 1997) continues her tribute to her adopted daughter, Lena, born in Guatemala. Lena is “seven. I am the color of cinnamon. Mom says she could eat me up”; she learns during a painting lesson that to get the color brown, she will have to “mix red, yellow, black, and white paints.” They go for a walk to observe the many shades of brown: they see Sonia, who is the color of creamy peanut butter; Isabella, who is chocolate brown; Lucy, both peachy and tan; Jo-Jin, the color of honey; Kyle, “like leaves in fall”; Mr. Pellegrino, the color of pizza crust, golden brown. Lena realizes that every shade is beautiful, then mixes her paints accordingly for portraits of her friends—“The colors of us!” Bold illustrations celebrate diversity with a child’s open-hearted sensibility and a mother’s love. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-8050-5864-8

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1999

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LAUGH-ETERIA

Florian’s seventh collection of verse is also his most uneven; though the flair for clever rhyme that consistently lights up his other books, beginning with Monster Motel (1993), occasionally shows itself—“Hello, my name is Dracula/My clothing is all blackula./I drive a Cadillacula./I am a maniacula”—too many of the entries are routine limericks, putdowns, character portraits, rhymed lists that fall flat on the ear, or quick quips: “It’s hard to be anonymous/When you’re a hippopotamus.” Florian’s language and simple, thick-lined cartoons illustrations are equally ingenuous, and he sticks to tried-and-true subjects, from dinosaurs to school lunch, but the well of inspiration seems dry; revisit his hilarious Bing Bang Boing (1994) instead. (index) (Poetry. 8-10)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-15-202084-5

Page Count: 158

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1999

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