A surprising heroine fulfills her destiny in this rollicking version of Mother Goose.




From the Magnificent Tales of Misadventure series , Vol. 1

After throwing a terrible tantrum, a horrid 11-year-old wakes up in a parallel world and discovers her true self.

Elspeth lives in a Seattle apartment with her doting parents. When she holds her breath to force her parents to give in to her demands for a pet alpaca, Elspeth finds herself in a strange forest where living nursery-rhyme characters hide from despicable King Krool. Elspeth learns Krool’s goons attacked Humpty Dumpty, stole Bo Peep’s sheep, terrorized Miss Muffet, and mangled Jack Horner’s thumbs. Oblivious to their suffering, Elspeth demands to go home, but only Jack and Jill know the way, and they are Krool’s prisoners. Arriving at Krool’s castle, Elspeth’s cast into the dungeon, where she meets Jack and Jill, discovers they are her real parents, and realizes she’s the girl prophesied to lead a rebellion to end Krool’s reign and restore Willie Winkie, the rightful king. Aided by three blind mice, Elspeth escapes, rallies the exiles, and molds herself into a girl worthy of the prophecy. Familiar nursery-rhyme characters assume arresting new personas in this witty, clever story of personal transformation. Rewritten rhymes and cartoonlike illustrations add humor.

A surprising heroine fulfills her destiny in this rollicking version of Mother Goose. (Fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: Jan. 12, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-61963-487-9

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Sept. 16, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

However the compelling fitness of theme and event and the apt but unexpected imagery (the opening sentences compare the...


At a time when death has become an acceptable, even voguish subject in children's fiction, Natalie Babbitt comes through with a stylistic gem about living forever. 

Protected Winnie, the ten-year-old heroine, is not immortal, but when she comes upon young Jesse Tuck drinking from a secret spring in her parents' woods, she finds herself involved with a family who, having innocently drunk the same water some 87 years earlier, haven't aged a moment since. Though the mood is delicate, there is no lack of action, with the Tucks (previously suspected of witchcraft) now pursued for kidnapping Winnie; Mae Tuck, the middle aged mother, striking and killing a stranger who is onto their secret and would sell the water; and Winnie taking Mae's place in prison so that the Tucks can get away before she is hanged from the neck until....? Though Babbitt makes the family a sad one, most of their reasons for discontent are circumstantial and there isn't a great deal of wisdom to be gleaned from their fate or Winnie's decision not to share it. 

However the compelling fitness of theme and event and the apt but unexpected imagery (the opening sentences compare the first week in August when this takes place to "the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning") help to justify the extravagant early assertion that had the secret about to be revealed been known at the time of the action, the very earth "would have trembled on its axis like a beetle on a pin." (Fantasy. 9-11)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1975

ISBN: 0312369816

Page Count: 164

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1975

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet


From the Moon Base Alpha series , Vol. 1

When Dr. Holtz’s body is discovered just outside the lunar colony, everyone assumes he made a mistake putting on his spacesuit—but 12-year-old Dashiell “Dash” Gibson has reason to believe this was no accident.

Earth’s first space base has been a living hell for Dash. There’s not much to do on the moon besides schoolwork and virtual-reality gaming, and there’s only a handful of kids his age up there with him. The chance to solve a murder is exactly the type of excitement Dash needs. As clues are found and secrets are uncovered, Dash comes to understand that some of the base’s residents aren’t what they seem to be. With a small cast of characters supplying an excellent variety of suspects, Gibbs creates the best kind of “murder on a train” mystery. The genius, however, is putting the train in space. Closed quarters and techno–mumbo-jumbo add delightful color to the proceedings. Thankfully, the author doesn’t let the high-concept setting overshadow the novel’s mystery. The whodunit is smartly paced and intricately plotted. Best of all, the reveal is actually worth all the buildup. Thrillers too often fly off the rails in their final moments, but the author’s steady hand keeps everything here on track.

Fully absorbing. (Mystery. 9-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 16, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-9486-2

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 28, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet