Silly sentences spotlight surprising scenes for sophisticated senses with swagger.

READ REVIEW

A LITTLE BOOK OF ALLITERATIONS

An alphabet of alliterative sentences, each illustrated with fey drawings.

The beginning alliteration is: “Awful Auntie Agatha ate all of Arthur’s available apples.” Most are even more quirky and informed by more adult-oriented sense of whimsy. For example, the letter I sentence reads, “Ivan is irate over Ivor’s increasingly idiotic ideas.” The illustration depicts an iguana with feather wings flying too close to the sun (inventively evoking Icarus), while a smaller iguana watches from below. The letter K uses "k" sounds with "c" words: “Karen crept carefully past Kevin’s creepy crypt.” The challenging letter X is: “Xeno expertly examined Xenon’s xylophone.” The book could be used for an entertaining word project with middle schoolers on up. Its small size and offbeat wordplay make it the kind of catchy display item at the bookstore checkout that catches the eye for a gift. Readers are invited to submit their own alliterations at the book's website, given at the end.

Silly sentences spotlight surprising scenes for sophisticated senses with swagger. (Picture book. 8 & up)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-9562-3155-0

Page Count: 66

Publisher: Inside Pocket

Review Posted Online: Sept. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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This can’t be the last we ever hear of the Legendary Alston Boys of the purely surreal Logan County—imaginative,...

THE LAST LAST-DAY-OF-SUMMER

From the Legendary Alston Boys series , Vol. 1

Can this really be the first time readers meet the Legendary Alston Boys of Logan County? Cousins and veteran sleuths Otto and Sheed Alston show us that we are the ones who are late to their greatness.

These two black boys are coming to terms with the end of their brave, heroic summer at Grandma’s, with a return to school just right around the corner. They’ve already got two keys to the city, but the rival Epic Ellisons—twin sisters Wiki and Leen—are steadily gaining celebrity across Logan County, Virginia, and have in hand their third key to the city. No way summer can end like this! These young people are powerful, courageous, experienced adventurers molded through their heroic commitment to discipline and deduction. They’ve got their shared, lifesaving maneuvers committed to memory (printed in a helpful appendix) and ready to save any day. Save the day they must, as a mysterious, bendy gentleman and an oversized, clingy platypus have been unleashed on the city of Fry, and all the residents and their belongings seem to be frozen in time and place. Will they be able to solve this one? With total mastery, Giles creates in Logan County an exuberant vortex of weirdness, where the commonplace sits cheek by jowl with the utterly fantastic, and populates it with memorable characters who more than live up to their setting.

This can’t be the last we ever hear of the Legendary Alston Boys of the purely surreal Logan County—imaginative, thrill-seeking readers, this is a series to look out for. (Fantasy. 10-12)

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-46083-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Versify/HMH

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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Light yet poignant, this multigenerational family tale shows age proves no barrier when it comes to offering solace

APPLESAUCE WEATHER

Young and old bridge the generational gap to find comfort amid loss.

With this slim offering, Frost returns to the novel in poems, though for a younger audience than the recent Salt (2014). Working with Bates, Frost presents middle-grade readers with white siblings Faith and Peter, who find themselves a bit lost, wondering if beloved Uncle Arthur, a gifted storyteller and trickster, will make the annual trek to visit them for the first apple harvest following his wife’s passing: “A smell in the air—if Lucy were here, / she’d breathe it deep. She’d smile wide. / That’s all it would take—we’d be on our way: / Applesauce weather, she’d say.” Aptly named Faith finds her hopes rewarded when, on the first apple’s dropping, Uncle Arthur shows up despite her mother’s and brother’s doubts and Arthur’s own hesitancy to return to a source of a lifetime of memories with Lucy. Throughout the tale, Bates’ evocative oil-based pencil drawings build on the intimacy of Frost’s narrative, deftly adding motion, whether it be in Faith’s wind-swept hair or Peter hanging upside down from a tree. Frost’s compact first-person poems shift in perspective from character to character, revealing the inner thoughts and feelings of each while simultaneously propelling the narrative and allowing for concise but realistic character development.

Light yet poignant, this multigenerational family tale shows age proves no barrier when it comes to offering solace . (Verse/fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 9, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7636-7576-9

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2016

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