Visually appealing starter volumes for readers who take pleasure in giving their powers of perception and deduction a...

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SEEING IS BELIEVING

From the Brain Benders series

A slender but diverse gallery of line and color illusions, with bright, crisply printed graphics.

Following an introductory overview, Moore presents three or four examples for each of nine types of optical foolery. There are parallel lines that don’t look it, geometric shapes that only seem to be different sizes, illusory color changes, “persistence of vision” spots, and perspective switches such as the vase-or-faces image. His accompanying commentary verges on overexplanation, as readers are not only told with each example how to look or move and what they can expect to see, but are then provided with additional hints and explanations at the end. In companion title Think Outside the Box, he challenges viewers to match a key to one of a set of schematic tumblers, trace a maze without using a pencil, and other tricky eyes-only puzzles—though again the answers are at the back. Other volumes in the Brain Benders series newly available in this country, It’s Only Logical and Not So Ordinary, offer further mental exercises.

Visually appealing starter volumes for readers who take pleasure in giving their powers of perception and deduction a workout. (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4677-6345-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Hungry Tomato/Lerner

Review Posted Online: April 1, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2015

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Ordinary kids in an extraordinary setting: still a recipe for bright achievements and belly laughs.

WAYSIDE SCHOOL BENEATH THE CLOUD OF DOOM

Rejoice! 25 years later, Wayside School is still in session, and the children in Mrs. Jewls’ 30th-floor classroom haven’t changed a bit.

The surreal yet oddly educational nature of their misadventures hasn’t either. There are out-and-out rib ticklers, such as a spelling lesson featuring made-up words and a determined class effort to collect 1 million nail clippings. Additionally, mean queen Kathy steps through a mirror that turns her weirdly nice and she discovers that she likes it, a four-way friendship survives a dumpster dive after lost homework, and Mrs. Jewls makes sure that a long-threatened “Ultimate Test” allows every student to show off a special talent. Episodic though the 30 new chapters are, there are continuing elements that bind them—even to previous outings, such as the note to an elusive teacher Calvin has been carrying since Sideways Stories From Wayside School (1978) and finally delivers. Add to that plenty of deadpan dialogue (“Arithmetic makes my brain numb,” complains Dameon. “That’s why they’re called ‘numb-ers,’ ” explains D.J.) and a wild storm from the titular cloud that shuffles the school’s contents “like a deck of cards,” and Sachar once again dishes up a confection as scrambled and delicious as lunch lady Miss Mush’s improvised “Rainbow Stew.” Diversity is primarily conveyed in the illustrations.

Ordinary kids in an extraordinary setting: still a recipe for bright achievements and belly laughs. (Fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-296538-7

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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Pippi is an inspired creation knit from daydreams.

PIPPI LONGSTOCKING

A fresh delicious fantasy that children will love.

In the character of 9-year-old Pippi Longstocking, who was lucky to have no parents to tell her what to do, is a juvenile Robin Hood with the authority of Mammy Yokum and a Mighty Mouse. Pippi- red headed, in longstockings (one black and one brown), and the strongest girl in the world was the friend of Tommy and Annika. Calmly and ingeniously she put down the enemy forces of the adult world — with a serene efficiency. The teacher was baffled by her logic in pointing out the futility of learning arithmetic; bullies she hoisted on trees; at the circus Pippi rode bareback, walked the tightrope, and wrestled the wrestling champ; cream and sugar flowed (on the floor) when Pippi attended a ladies' coffee party where she revealed "horrid things" with the complacency of Eliza Doolittle. Champion of fun, freedom and fantasy and long happy thoughts,

Pippi is an inspired creation knit from daydreams.

Pub Date: Oct. 16, 1950

ISBN: 978-0-14-030957-7

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 1, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1950

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