LUDWIG THE TIME DOG

Thin though the plot may be, the art makes the trip well worth the time.

Returning a mysterious, outsized egg to its home takes a veteran canine traveler on an unexpectedly long journey.

Ludwig adds a fourth dimension to his 3-D adventures as a …Space Dog (2016) and a …Sea Dog (2017) when the egg—which is nearly as big as he is—turns out not to belong to any modern birds or reptiles. Into a mammoth tome titled The Entire History of the World he dives. After a consultation with Mary Anning (unnamed but recognizable at least to readers familiar with the history of paleontology) and quick stops in several earlier eras, he fetches up in a spooky forest to be surrounded, with the opening of a double gatefold, by huge, smiling dinosaurs. When the egg hatches, there is mommy dino, a big, green sauropod, to welcome it and to start Ludwig on his safe return with a boost back into his biblio-tunnel. Even more than in previous outings, the plot is just a pretext for the 3-D pictures. These feature cutout figures and artful shadows that seem to float even without the supplied cardboard eyewear; with it, they acquire a beguiling shimmer as well as a convincing depth of field for the flocks of birds bursting up in one scene, charging medieval knights in another, and the climactic prehistoric landscape. Ludwig has a multispecies circle of bookish friends (some literally bookish, such as a certain familiar hatter), but humans, including a set of leopard-skin–clad cave artists, are white throughout.

Thin though the plot may be, the art makes the trip well worth the time. (Novelty picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-61067-864-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kane Miller

Review Posted Online: July 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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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