JULIE OF THE WOLVES

Running away from an arranged marriage with simpleminded Donald, thirteen year-old Julie (she prefers Miyax, her Eskimo name) survives on the barren tundra by making friends with a family of wolves. Her patient, intelligent courting of the animals — observing their signs of leadership, submission, etc. and aping the appropriate ones — and her resourcefulness in keeping herself alive (first with a bite of meat a wolf regurgitates for her, then by smoking and freezing what the wolves leave of the caribou they kill) are meticulously observed. In a central flashback we learn of her life to date — at seal camp with Kapugen, her widowed father who taught her to live in the wild, in town with her unsympathetic aunt who calls her Julie, sends her to an American school, and tells her of Kapugen's presumed death, then with Donald's family, reasonably contented until he, goaded by the other boys, roughly attempts to assert his husbandly prerogative. Now Miyax plans to make her way to a harbor town, then fly to the pink bedroom and velvet theater seats promised by her pen pal in San Francisco. But as she nears the coast months later (the wolves still paralleling her course) a plane appears. Then the air explodes with gunshots and the magnificent Amaroq, her adoptive wolf father, is killed. "Black exhaust envolved her, and civilization became this monster that snarled across the sky." The final devastation occurs when Miyax, having heard from traveling hunters that Kapugen is alive, arrives at her father's new house to find, along with the harpoons and kayak and couch of furs, a white wife, electric lights, and a helmet and goggles. "'Aw, that. I now own an airplane, Miyax. It's the only way to hunt today. The seals are scarce and the whales are almost gone.' . . . Kapugen, after all, was dead to her," and later, alone in the snow, Miyax sings to the totem she has carved of Amaroq "that the hour of the wolf and the Eskimo is over." Though remarkable Miyax and her experience are totally believable, her spirit living evidence of the magnitude of the loss.

Pub Date: Nov. 10, 1972

ISBN: 0064400581

Page Count: 180

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1972

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An unabashed love letter from mother.

I LOVE YOU, LITTLE POOKIE

From the Little Pookie series

A sweet celebration of the bond between a mother and her Pookie.

The eighth installment in this always charming series eschews the episodic drama and silliness of earlier outing such as Spooky Pookie (2015) in favor of a mom’s-eye-view celebration of her child and the time they spend together. There is, of course, nothing wrong with drama and silliness. But while the lack of conflict and plot in favor of unapologetic sentiment makes this book a quick read, that doesn’t make it any less endearing. The rhymed verse captures a mother’s wonder as she observes the many facets of her child’s personality: “Ah, Pookie. My little one. My funny one. My child. // Sometimes you are quiet. Sometimes you are wild.” On the simple joys of shared moments, she notes, “I love to go walking with you by my side. / I love when we sing when we go for a ride. // And I love just to watch as you think and you play. / The way that you are is a wonderful way.” Paired with author/illustrator Boynton’s irresistible renderings of a porcine mommy and her playful, snuggly little piglet, the result is impossible to fault. Whether quietly reading, running in a tiger suit, singing with mom in the car, ears flapping in the breeze, or enjoying the safety of mom’s embrace, Pookie’s appeal continues unabated.

An unabashed love letter from mother. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Dec. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5344-3723-4

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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Is this the end? Well, no…the series will stagger on through at least one more scheduled sequel.

CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS AND THE TERRIFYING RETURN OF TIPPY TINKLETROUSERS

From the Captain Underpants series , Vol. 9

Sure signs that the creative wells are running dry at last, the Captain’s ninth, overstuffed outing both recycles a villain (see Book 4) and offers trendy anti-bullying wish fulfillment.

Not that there aren’t pranks and envelope-pushing quips aplenty. To start, in an alternate ending to the previous episode, Principal Krupp ends up in prison (“…a lot like being a student at Jerome Horwitz Elementary School, except that the prison had better funding”). There, he witnesses fellow inmate Tippy Tinkletrousers (aka Professor Poopypants) escape in a giant Robo-Suit (later reduced to time-traveling trousers). The villain sets off after George and Harold, who are in juvie (“not much different from our old school…except that they have library books here.”). Cut to five years previous, in a prequel to the whole series. George and Harold link up in kindergarten to reduce a quartet of vicious bullies to giggling insanity with a relentless series of pranks involving shaving cream, spiders, effeminate spoof text messages and friendship bracelets. Pilkey tucks both topical jokes and bathroom humor into the cartoon art, and ups the narrative’s lexical ante with terms like “pharmaceuticals” and “theatrical flair.” Unfortunately, the bullies’ sad fates force Krupp to resign, so he’s not around to save the Earth from being destroyed later on by Talking Toilets and other invaders…

Is this the end? Well, no…the series will stagger on through at least one more scheduled sequel. (Fantasy. 10-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-545-17534-0

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 20, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2012

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