“Little boy blue / come blow your tuba. / The sheep are in Venice, / and the cow’s in Aruba.” Pairing frenetic and garishly colored art to familiar rhymes in “more modern, more fresh, and well…more Goosian” versions, Seibold stakes out Stinky Cheese Man territory to introduce “Jack and Jill / and a pickle named Bill,” the Old Woman Who Lived in a Sneaker (“She had a great big stereo speaker”), Peter Pumpkin Pickle Pepper and about two dozen more “re-nurseried” figures. Against patterned or spray-painted backgrounds, an entire page of umbrella-carrying raindrops float down, a bunch of mice run up (“the clock struck one; / the rest had fun”), cats fiddle for Old King Coal and others, Jack B. Nimble makes a lifelong career out of demonstrating his one trick and a closing rendition of the counting rhyme “One, Two, I Lost My Shoe” is transformed into a clever reprise as many of the characters return to take final bows. Sparkles on the cover; chuckles (despite some lame rhyming) throughout. (Fractured nursery rhymes. 7-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-8118-6882-2

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2010

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When budgets or problems aren’t quite right for the likes of Spider-Man or the Dark Knight, here’s a reasonably priced...


From Blunder Woman to Stuporman, this gallery of underemployed B-list superheroes is up for any task.

Got rats and mice? Call on the (inch-high) Verminator! Supernatural foes will flee from the garlic foam wielded by Muffy the Vampire Sprayer. Afflicted by gangsters? “When racketeers insist on quiet / and it’s not wise to start a riot, / send the Baby, send the Baby.” Furthermore, “And if those cries don’t make them hyper, / Weapon Two is in the diaper.” Along with having distinct individual powers and abilities, several of these eager job seekers combine to offer enhanced services. Armored Sir Knightly and The Masked Man, both aging veterans, can team up to entertain at children’s parties, for instance, and Kelly (ejected from the Green Lantern Corps for wearing a heterodox shade of green) will join silk-spinner Caterpillar to design stylish new costumes for “Trendy Defenders.” Using a free range of page designs from sequential panels to full-spread scenes, Jones reflects both the changing rhythms and the overall buoyancy of Singer’s rhymes with simply drawn, brightly colored cartoon views of each S.E.A. member in action.

When budgets or problems aren’t quite right for the likes of Spider-Man or the Dark Knight, here’s a reasonably priced alternative. (Picture book/poetry. 7-9)

Pub Date: July 24, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-547-43559-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: April 10, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2012

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Well meant but unsuccessful.



The sincerity in these versified valentines to 13 often-reviled animals may ring true, but the natural history doesn’t always pass muster.

Following a strong opener—“Turkey vulture, please be mine, / Not because you soar so fine, / But ’cause you rock on clean-up crew; / No rot is left when you are through”—the quality of the informational content takes a sharp nose dive. There are arguable claims that moles and opossums do no damage to gardens and that flies and cockroaches should be considered helpful recyclers of dead matter, as well as the befuddling, apparently rhyme-driven assertion that moths (not as caterpillars but in their flying, adult stage) are pests that “dine on fields of grain.” Dubbing these and other subjects from skunks and vampire bats to mosquitoes and snakes “secret friends,” Lang closes with an invitation to readers to compose similar love notes to “someone who is misunderstood.” In oval or unbordered natural settings, Gallegos renders each creature with reasonable accuracy, though sometimes with a smile or oversized eyes for extra visual appeal.

Well meant but unsuccessful. (Picture book/poetry. 7-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-9834594-5-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Prospect Park Media

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2012

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