JIM, WHO RAN AWAY FROM HIS NURSE, AND WAS EATEN BY A LION

“WARNING: CONTAINS A DANGEROUS BEAST AND A MISERABLE END.” It says it right on the cover, so the fainthearted can’t say they weren’t properly admonished. Belloc first published this rhyming cautionary tale about the perils of disobedience in 1907, and this version debuted in England in 2009. Grey’s artwork is gorgeous and bold (that perfect ham!). Fold-outs, pop-ups and lift-up flaps contribute to the over-the-top element that makes even little Jim’s bloody, chewed-off head seem not as horrific as it might. In fact, readers may not feel a lick of sympathy for Jim, as the boy looks bored out of his mind throughout, only showing emotion (fear, to be exact) when the lion begins to consume him by degrees. The elaborate fold-out “ZOO RULES AND BYELAWS” section is uproariously funny, including the “If You Are an Animal” column forbidding creatures to trumpet, stampede, charge, constrict, maul, circle, swarm, etc. All but the most sensitive children (over eight) will laugh their…heads off—especially if the book is read aloud with an English accent. (Picture book. 8 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 14, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-375-85970-0

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2010

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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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