A professional storyteller, Lupton retells seven stories in his repertoire from Chile, Greenland, India, Nigeria, North America, Russia and Scotland. The attractive page composition has spaciously placed text that rings with a storyteller's voice, while the digital collages use decorative borders to reflect ethnic characteristics. The flat dimension of the people and animals are offset by the richness of patterns, and spot art generates momentum to lead readers to each story's end. Only one tale is broadly familiar, "The Strange Visitor," from Scotland ("Once upon a time, in a dark wood, there was a dark house"). In a Seneca tale, a grouchy Winter bullies children, stealing their clothing for warmth, until tricky old Summer scotches his antics. From India comes the tale of a brave blackbird who takes on the King, when his servants trap the blackbird's wife to provide music in his palace. In these and the rest, the essence of the stories lives up to the title. Storytellers will welcome this collection, with sources provided and personal provenance to back them up, and the title will attract kids. (includes CD) (Folklore. 8 & up)


Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-84686-258-8

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Barefoot Books

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2010



Legibility issue aside, required reading for flights that will be as safe as they are exhilarating.

A savvy instruction manual for new magic-carpet owners.

Packaged with “Mosby’s Model D3 Extra-Small Magic Carpet, Especially for Young or Vertically Challenged People” (actual carpet not included, alas), this handy guide gathers a wealth of necessary advice and information. This includes commands programmed in by the manufacturer’s “magicalists,” notes on proper care and storage, best practices for safe flying, aerial hazards, suggested recreational activities, basic survival techniques, and even career possibilities. There’s so much here, in fact, that the pages are stuffed nearly edge to edge with text in a cramped, fussy typeface. Blocks of text are wedged in around cartoon illustrations of buildings and natural features seen from above, views of a racially diverse cast of young carpet riders, and (this particular copy being actually a hand-me-down from an elderly great-aunt) handwritten additions in red ink, e.g.: “Barf stains on a carpet can be exceedingly difficult to clean.” In and around the fun are tidbits of actual information, such as the varying G-forces experienced by a child swinging, sneezing, and riding a roller coaster, the varying altitudes of flyers from bugs and bats to commercial jets, samplings from world cuisines, and orienteering. Despite cultural associations, Mossby’s wares are fairly untrammeled by Middle Eastern stereotypes.

Legibility issue aside, required reading for flights that will be as safe as they are exhilarating. (Informational fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: Aug. 29, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943147-28-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: The Innovation Press

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2017



A deliciously hideous glimpse of what’s in store following the ongoing Anthropocene extinction.

An oversized pop-up survey of mutated life forms in the 49th century’s heavily polluted, still-radioactive Cagoan District, the ruins of a fictional future Chicago.

Readers in 4847 may be pleased by this report that the bioremediation of the devastated district is proceeding apace thanks to a “robust ecosystem” of recently evolved creatures who concentrate heavy metals, dissolve concrete, metabolize methane, and even consume the polycarbonate plastics once used to make CDs. Twenty-first century readers, on the other hand, will be positively thrilled by the eight examples—from the fiercely predatory brownfield pigeon, which lives on oil-soaked wastelands and so has developed wing pouches to carry offspring, to a rex roach the size of a puppy—that rear up from alternate spreads as layered, intricately articulated, near (or even more than) life-size models sculpted in muted monochromes. Solano (Hu Wan and the Sleeping Dragon, 2017, etc.) complements Sheehy’s (Welcome to the Neighborwood, 2015, etc.) stylized monsters with more naturalistic painted portraits on each following spread and charts the exotic menagerie’s sometimes-complex interrelationships at the end. Along with introductory remarks, the author provides helpful field notes on each selected subject’s physical characteristics, enhanced resistance to radiation, and general behaviors. This imaginative work will both entertain readers and provoke their concern over the state of our environment.

A deliciously hideous glimpse of what’s in store following the ongoing Anthropocene extinction. (author’s note) (Pop-up science fiction. 12-15)

Pub Date: Oct. 9, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7636-8788-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

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