LUDWIG THE SPACE DOG

The right stuff for all young would-be space explorers.

Three-dimensional illustrations propel into orbit this imported tale of a dog with stars in his eyes.

The heavens feature sausages and other doggy treats as well as stars and planets in Ludwig’s dreams—and also in reality, as he discovers after a repair job on a penguinlike alien’s damaged spacecraft earns him a free ride. Thanks to particularly effective placement of cutout figures and shadows to go with the separated color lines, Löhlein’s collage scenes when viewed through the (supplied) red/cyan spectacles feature rockets and celestial bodies as well as feathers, wads of paper, postcards, and other items that seem to burst up from the page surfaces, while an uncommon depth of view makes the star-studded backdrops look as if they go on forever. Ludwig’s voyage reaches a truly spectacular climax, with planets cut from printed maps on the outside of a double gatefold giving way to a dizzying starscape of floating moons, ETs, and UFOs, along with such less-likely items as a wedge of cheese, fruits, and a rubber ducky. “WOW!” as the canine cosmonaut aptly puts it. The pictures do need the special glasses to look their dazzling best, but the narrative is readable with or without them.

The right stuff for all young would-be space explorers. (Novelty picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-61067-648-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kane Miller

Review Posted Online: May 30, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2017

HORTON AND THE KWUGGERBUG AND MORE LOST STORIES

Fans both young and formerly young will be pleased—100 percent.

Published in magazines, never seen since / Now resurrected for pleasure intense / Versified episodes numbering four / Featuring Marco, and Horton and more!

All of the entries in this follow-up to The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories (2011) involve a certain amount of sharp dealing. Horton carries a Kwuggerbug through crocodile-infested waters and up a steep mountain because “a deal is a deal”—and then is cheated out of his promised share of delicious Beezlenuts. Officer Pat heads off escalating, imagined disasters on Mulberry Street by clubbing a pesky gnat. Marco (originally met on that same Mulberry Street) concocts a baroque excuse for being late to school. In the closer, a smooth-talking Grinch (not the green sort) sells a gullible Hoobub a piece of string. In a lively introduction, uber-fan Charles D. Cohen (The Seuss, The Whole Seuss, and Nothing but the Seuss, 2002) provides publishing histories, places characters and settings in Seussian context, and offers insights into, for instance, the origin of “Grinch.” Along with predictably engaging wordplay—“He climbed. He grew dizzy. His ankles grew numb. / But he climbed and he climbed and he clum and he clum”—each tale features bright, crisply reproduced renditions of its original illustrations. Except for “The Hoobub and the Grinch,” which has been jammed into a single spread, the verses and pictures are laid out in spacious, visually appealing ways.

Fans both young and formerly young will be pleased—100 percent. (Picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 9, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-385-38298-4

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

IF I BUILT A SCHOOL

An all-day sugar rush, putting the “fun” back into, er, education.

A young visionary describes his ideal school: “Perfectly planned and impeccably clean. / On a scale, 1 to 10, it’s more like 15!”

In keeping with the self-indulgently fanciful lines of If I Built a Car (2005) and If I Built a House (2012), young Jack outlines in Seussian rhyme a shiny, bright, futuristic facility in which students are swept to open-roofed classes in clear tubes, there are no tests but lots of field trips, and art, music, and science are afterthoughts next to the huge and awesome gym, playground, and lunchroom. A robot and lots of cute puppies (including one in a wheeled cart) greet students at the door, robotically made-to-order lunches range from “PB & jelly to squid, lightly seared,” and the library’s books are all animated popups rather than the “everyday regular” sorts. There are no guards to be seen in the spacious hallways—hardly any adults at all, come to that—and the sparse coed student body features light- and dark-skinned figures in roughly equal numbers, a few with Asian features, and one in a wheelchair. Aside from the lack of restrooms, it seems an idyllic environment—at least for dog-loving children who prefer sports and play over quieter pursuits.

An all-day sugar rush, putting the “fun” back into, er, education. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-55291-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: July 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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