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A bland if pretty treatment for adults who feel their children are not ready for the original.

Paired to creamy, surreal illustrations, an abbreviated and retold account of Alice’s sojourn from her encounter with the Cheshire Cat on in this sequel to Alice in Wonderland: Down the Rabbit Hole (2015).

The general plotline remains intact, though along with leaving out the Mock Turtle, the Lobster Quadrille, nearly all of the poetry, and much else, Rhatigan and Nurnberg modernize and retune the language as well. Alice is first offered “juice” rather than wine at the tea party, and later, seeing that she refuses to have her head cut off, the Queen says “Well, okay. Can you play croquet?” Puybaret fills in a few of the missing details (putting gardeners painting white roses red in one scene’s background, for instance) but focuses mainly on creating spacious, neatly composed tableaux in harmonious colors. These feature exotic flora, animals in stylish court dress, and (mostly) light-skinned human figures with long pointy noses and glassy eyes. Alice, a blonde, white beauty in a flowing green skirt, wakes at last and is last seen skipping home, heedless of the white rabbit and other previously met characters looking on. The adapters’ retelling of co-published The Jungle Book: Mowgli’s Adventures, illustrated by Debra Bandelin and Bob Dacey, is similarly abbreviated though not quite so colloquial.

A bland if pretty treatment for adults who feel their children are not ready for the original. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Dec. 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-63322-110-9

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Moondance/Quarto

Review Posted Online: Nov. 1, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2016

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From the Diary of an Ice Princess series

A jam-packed opener sure to satisfy lovers of the princess genre.

Ice princess Lina must navigate family and school in this early chapter read.

The family picnic is today. This is not a typical gathering, since Lina’s maternal relatives are a royal family of Windtamers who have power over the weather and live in castles floating on clouds. Lina herself is mixed race, with black hair and a tan complexion like her Asian-presenting mother’s; her Groundling father appears to be a white human. While making a grand entrance at the castle of her grandfather, the North Wind, she fails to successfully ride a gust of wind and crashes in front of her entire family. This prompts her stern grandfather to ask that Lina move in with him so he can teach her to control her powers. Desperate to avoid this, Lina and her friend Claudia, who is black, get Lina accepted at the Hilltop Science and Arts Academy. Lina’s parents allow her to go as long as she does lessons with grandpa on Saturdays. However, fitting in at a Groundling school is rough, especially when your powers start freak winter storms! With the story unfurling in diary format, bright-pink–highlighted grayscale illustrations help move the plot along. There are slight gaps in the storytelling and the pacing is occasionally uneven, but Lina is full of spunk and promotes self-acceptance.

A jam-packed opener sure to satisfy lovers of the princess genre. (Fantasy. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 25, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-35393-8

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 26, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

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From the Captain Awesome series , Vol. 1

As Captain Awesome would say, this kid is “MI-TEE!” (Fiction. 5-8)

The town of Sunnyview got a little bit safer when 8-year-old Eugene McGillicudy moved in.

Just like his comic-book mentor, Super Dude, Eugene, aka Captain Awesome, is on a one-man mission is to save the world from supervillains, like the nefarious “Queen Stinkypants from Planet Baby.” Just as Eugene suspected, plenty of new supervillains await him at Sunnyview Elementary. Are Meredith Mooney and the mind-reading Ms. Beasley secretly working together to try and force Eugene to reveal his secret identity? Will Principal Brick Foot succeed in throwing Captain Awesome into the “Dungeon of Detention?” Fortunately, Eugene isn’t forced to go it alone. Charlie Thomas Jones, fellow comic-book lover and Super Dude fan, stands ready and willing to help. When the class hamster goes missing, Captain Awesome must don his cape and, with the help of his new best friend, ride to the rescue. Kirby’s funny and engaging third-person narration and O’Connor’s hilarious illustrations make the book easily accessible and enormously appealing, particularly to readers who have recently graduated to chapter books. But it is the quirky, mischievous Eugene that really makes this book special. His energy and humor are contagious, and his dogged commitment to his superhero alter ego is enough to make anyone a believer.  

As Captain Awesome would say, this kid is “MI-TEE!” (Fiction. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 3, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4424-4090-6

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 17, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2012

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