THE GIRL WHO DREAMED ONLY GEESE

AND OTHER TALES OF THE FAR NORTH

This collection is not only the handsomest gathering of Inuit folktales ever, but one that will bring readers as close to a living oral tradition as printed material can. After working with folklorists and Inuit storytellers, Norman recasts ten stories from every corner of this widespread culture. While versions of several stories appeared in his Northern Tales (1990), they will be new to young readers. Most have a humorous cast: A shaman enrages a rude visitor with a succession of hilarious, earthy insults; stubborn Uteritsoq ignores good advice and has his "stomach guts" stolen by a moon spirit; when the Ark becomes locked in Hudson Bay ice, a crabby Noah refuses to have anything to do with the local villagers, and so is forced to eat many of his animals—plus a woolly mammoth that comes on board. Between each tale's two or three magical, formal, full-page paintings, the Dillons recapitulate events in a small black-and-white running frieze, composed of human and animal figures done in a style evocative of Inuit art. A pleasure to see, to hold, and to read—this is elegant bookmaking matched to entertaining, perceptive storytelling. Story notes appended. (Folklore. 9+)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-15-230979-9

Page Count: 146

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1997

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The inevitable go-to for Percy’s legions of fans who want the stories behind his stories.

PERCY JACKSON'S GREEK GODS

Percy Jackson takes a break from adventuring to serve up the Greek gods like flapjacks at a church breakfast.

Percy is on form as he debriefs readers concerning Chaos, Gaea, Ouranos and Pontus, Dionysus, Ariadne and Persephone, all in his dude’s patter: “He’d forgotten how beautiful Gaea could be when she wasn’t all yelling up in his face.” Here they are, all 12 Olympians, plus many various offspring and associates: the gold standard of dysfunctional families, whom Percy plays like a lute, sometimes lyrically, sometimes with a more sardonic air. Percy’s gift, which is no great secret, is to breathe new life into the gods. Closest attention is paid to the Olympians, but Riordan has a sure touch when it comes to fitting much into a small space—as does Rocco’s artwork, which smokes and writhes on the page as if hit by lightning—so readers will also meet Makaria, “goddess of blessed peaceful deaths,” and the Theban Teiresias, who accidentally sees Athena bathing. She blinds him but also gives him the ability to understand the language of birds. The atmosphere crackles and then dissolves, again and again: “He could even send the Furies after living people if they committed a truly horrific crime—like killing a family member, desecrating a temple, or singing Journey songs on karaoke night.”

The inevitable go-to for Percy’s legions of fans who want the stories behind his stories. (Mythology. 10-14)

Pub Date: Aug. 19, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-8364-8

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2014

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LAWN BOY

After his grandmother gives him an old riding lawnmower for his summer birthday, this comedy’s 12-year-old narrator putt-putts into a series of increasingly complex and economically advantageous adventures. As each lawn job begets another, one client—persuasive day-trader Arnold Howell—barters market investing and dubious local business connections. Our naïve entrepreneur thus unwittingly acquires stock in an Internet start-up and a coffin company; a capable landscaping staff of 15 and the sponsorship of a hulking boxer named Joseph Powdermilk. There’s a semi-climactic scuffle with some bad guys bent on appropriating the lawn business, but Joey Pow easily dispatches them. If there’s tension here, it derives from the unremitting good news: While the reader may worry that Arnold’s a rip-off artist, Joey Pow will blow his fight, or (at the very least) the parents will go ballistic once clued in—all ends refreshingly well. The most complicated parts of this breezy affair are the chapter titles, which seem lifted from an officious, tenure-track academician’s economics text. Capital! (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: June 12, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-385-74686-1

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Wendy Lamb/Random

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2007

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