THE GREATEST SHOW OFF EARTH by Margaret Mahy

THE GREATEST SHOW OFF EARTH

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 8 - 12
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KIRKUS REVIEW

This book finds Mahy (A Fortune Branches Out, p. 559, etc.; The Christmas Tree Tangle, see p. 1421) in an antic mode. It's a space farce featuring a couple of orphaned kids who escape a dour craft on which humor is abhorred as fatally dangerous. Eventually, they discover the power of laughter and their missing relations in a cosmic circus that, Sleeping Beauty-like, has been dozing until it can be awakened by some well-timed jokes. Along the way, Mahy makes comic use of the children's remarkable attributes (since Delphinium is a "calculator" and Jason a "library," each is a fund of information, by turns handy or amusingly incongruous); concocts a gallery of extraterrestrials that rivals the weirder inhabitants of Oz; and sports with words with her usual wit and aplomb (the arch-villain, Delphinium's former nanny Molly, is also known as La Mollerina, the Williwaw of the West). There's an occasional thoughtful adult overtone (particularly, some inventive counters to the stereotyping of librarians), but they never intrude on the childlike humor. An imaginative romp. (Fiction. 8- 12)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-670-85736-X
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Viking
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 1994




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