JACKALOPE by Janet Stevens

JACKALOPE

Age Range: 5 - 8
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KIRKUS REVIEW

What should be a whimsical tale of the fictitious desert critter found on so many postcards in the Southwest instead becomes a labored slog through a confused tall-fairy-tale landscape. It begins and ends on the endpapers, as a genial armadillo approaches the reader, sets up a folding chair, and launches into the story. This frame produces a series of sub-frames as the armadillo takes the role of balladeer, introducing segments of his story with cowboy doggerel. It turns out that the famed horned hare began life as a perfectly, and unhappily, ordinary jackrabbit. Various conversations with his magic mirror apparently summon his Fairy Godrabbit, a painful punster, who grants him horns and an accompanying Pinocchio-like curse that causes his horns to grow whenever he tells a lie. The meandering tale goes on and on until the armadillo ambles off after the exhausting conclusion. Stevens’s art, a computer-enhanced combination of painting and collage, features her signature energetic line, but here it crosses the boundary into frenetic. As does the narrative itself: line and bright colors cannot sustain a text that simply does not seem to know when to end. Crummel and Stevens’s previous collaborations (And the Dish Ran Away with the Spoon, 2001, etc.) have shown a distinct tendency toward self-referential narrative; this offering, with its promising concept, carries this style into self-indulgent. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-15-216736-6
Page count: 56pp
Publisher: Harcourt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2003




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