Wonderfully exuberant and completely delightful.

MAN FROM THE LAND OF FANDANGO

There’s fun for all when the man from Fandango comes to call.

An unnamed and silent boy and girl paint a colorful figure that jumps right off the paper, bringing excitement, happy games and music. He cavorts and flies and dances with a bear and a bison, while a baboon plays a bassoon accompaniment. A frolicsome kangaroo and a dinosaur join in the rumpus along with the ecstatic children. The action races along at a breathless pace as words both real and created sing the rhymed tale that “bingles and bangles and bounces,” as they all “tingle and tongle and tangle.” The text winds and moves in arcs across the pages in the very aptly named Heatwave typeface. Watercolor-and-collage illustrations work with the shaped text, curving and swirling in hills and valleys. Every animal and human is joyful and fully engaged in the moment. The bison sports red high-fashion shoes, and there are bubbles and stars and all sorts of brightly hued shapes flying about, along with the magical man who dances and juggles without reference to gravity. The late Mahy's New Zealand syntax and humor are on fine display here, and young readers will wish that the Fandango man would appear more than once in 500 years.

Wonderfully exuberant and completely delightful. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 23, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-547-81988-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion

Review Posted Online: Aug. 15, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

SNOW PLACE LIKE HOME

From the Diary of an Ice Princess series

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 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Inspiring, adventurous fun for aspirational kids.

SADIE SPROCKET BUILDS A ROCKET

A little girl’s imaginative plan to become an astronaut and be the first to travel to Mars really takes off.

Together with a crew of stuffed animals (owl, rabbit, and teddy bear), Sadie Sprocket does her research, gathers materials to build her spaceship, and, with support from family and friends—and media coverage—embarks on her historic journey. Rhyming quatrains tell the story of how Sadie patiently reads, cooks, and records important data during the 100-day interplanetary journey. And then: “The Earth behind, so far away, / was now a tiny dot. / Then Sadie cried, ‘There’s planet Mars! / It’s smaller than I thought!’ ” After landing and gathering 20 bags of samples, Sadie and crew are stuck in a red sandstorm while trying to take off again. But with Sadie’s determination and can-do spirit, they blast off, safely returning to Earth with future heroic space-exploration ideas in mind. Spiky cartoons transform a child’s playroom into an outer-space venue, complete with twinkling stars and colorful planets. Sadie presents White while her encouraging fans feature more diversity. An addendum includes brief facts about Mars and a handful of women space scientists. (This book was reviewed digitally with 11-by-17-inch double-page spreads viewed at 50% of actual size.)

Inspiring, adventurous fun for aspirational kids. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5420-1803-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more