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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Dizzyingly silly.

CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS AND THE TYRANNICAL RETALIATION OF THE TURBO TOILET 2000

From the Captain Underpants series , Vol. 11

The famous superhero returns to fight another villain with all the trademark wit and humor the series is known for.

Despite the title, Captain Underpants is bizarrely absent from most of this adventure. His school-age companions, George and Harold, maintain most of the spotlight. The creative chums fool around with time travel and several wacky inventions before coming upon the evil Turbo Toilet 2000, making its return for vengeance after sitting out a few of the previous books. When the good Captain shows up to save the day, he brings with him dynamic action and wordplay that meet the series’ standards. The Captain Underpants saga maintains its charm even into this, the 11th volume. The epic is filled to the brim with sight gags, toilet humor, flip-o-ramas and anarchic glee. Holding all this nonsense together is the author’s good-natured sense of harmless fun. The humor is never gross or over-the-top, just loud and innocuous. Adults may roll their eyes here and there, but youngsters will eat this up just as quickly as they devoured every other Underpants episode.

Dizzyingly silly. (Humor. 8-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 26, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-545-50490-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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Hee haw.

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THE WONKY DONKEY

The print version of a knee-slapping cumulative ditty.

In the song, Smith meets a donkey on the road. It is three-legged, and so a “wonky donkey” that, on further examination, has but one eye and so is a “winky wonky donkey” with a taste for country music and therefore a “honky-tonky winky wonky donkey,” and so on to a final characterization as a “spunky hanky-panky cranky stinky-dinky lanky honky-tonky winky wonky donkey.” A free musical recording (of this version, anyway—the author’s website hints at an adults-only version of the song) is available from the publisher and elsewhere online. Even though the book has no included soundtrack, the sly, high-spirited, eye patch–sporting donkey that grins, winks, farts, and clumps its way through the song on a prosthetic metal hoof in Cowley’s informal watercolors supplies comical visual flourishes for the silly wordplay. Look for ready guffaws from young audiences, whether read or sung, though those attuned to disability stereotypes may find themselves wincing instead or as well.

Hee haw. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-545-26124-1

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 29, 2018

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