Read alongside the traditional tales it plays off of or enjoyed on its own, this volume is one to savor.

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A BOOK OF REVERSO POEMS

A companion piece to the acclaimed Mirror, Mirror (2010), this offering presents more delightful “reverso” poems to treasure.

As in the original volume, each page spread presents an expertly crafted poem based on a fairy tale coupled with a second poem which is, with only minor changes in capitalization and punctuation, the first poem in reverse. Together, the two poems offer new perspectives and insights into familiar tales and their characters. Take, for example, the poems based on “Thumbelina.” The first verse, from the girl’s perspective, begins, “Me / marry / a mole? / I am / small, / but / my dreams are / lofty and daring, / not / constant and safe,” while the second verse, in the voice of the mole this time, ends with “constant and safe, / not / lofty and daring. / My dreams are / but / small. / I am / a mole. / Marry / me.” Other featured tales include “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” “The Tortoise and the Hare,” “The Princess and the Pea,” “The Three Little Pigs” and more. Masse’s bold and brilliant illustrations bring the poems to life, showcasing the different perspectives while maintaining a lovely sense of unity by essentially dividing each painting into two distinct images while incorporating elements that inextricably yoke each image to its counterpart.

Read alongside the traditional tales it plays off of or enjoyed on its own, this volume is one to savor. (about reversos, about the tales) (Picture book/poetry. 8-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 7, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-8037-3769-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2013

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A fast and funny alternative to the Wimpy Kid.

JAKE THE FAKE KEEPS IT REAL

From the Jake the Fake series , Vol. 1

Black sixth-grader Jake Liston can only play one song on the piano. He can’t read music very well, and he can’t improvise. So how did Jake get accepted to the Music and Art Academy? He faked it.

Alongside an eclectic group of academy classmates, and with advice from his best friend, Jake tries to fit in at a school where things like garbage sculpting and writing art reviews of bird poop splatter are the norm. All is well until Jake discovers that the end-of-the-semester talent show is only two weeks away, and Jake is short one very important thing…talent. Or is he? It’s up to Jake to either find the talent that lies within or embarrass himself in front of the entire school. Light and humorous, with Knight’s illustrations adding to the fun, Jake’s story will likely appeal to many middle-grade readers, especially those who might otherwise be reluctant to pick up a book. While the artsy antics may be over-the-top at times, this is a story about something that most preteens can relate to: the struggle to find your authentic self. And in a world filled with books about wanting to fit in with the athletically gifted supercliques, this novel unabashedly celebrates the artsy crowd in all of its quirky, creative glory.

A fast and funny alternative to the Wimpy Kid. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: March 28, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-553-52351-5

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

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90 MILES TO HAVANA

After Castro’s takeover, nine-year-old Julian and his older brothers are sent away by their fearful parents via “Operation Pedro Pan” to a camp in Miami for Cuban-exile children. Here he discovers that a ruthless bully has essentially been put in charge. Julian is quicker-witted than his brothers or anyone else ever imagined, though, and with his inherent smarts, developing maturity and the help of child and adult friends, he learns to navigate the dynamics of the camp and surroundings and grows from the former baby of the family to independence and self-confidence. A daring rescue mission at the end of the novel will have readers rooting for Julian even as it opens his family’s eyes to his courage and resourcefulness. This autobiographical novel is a well-meaning, fast-paced and often exciting read, though at times the writing feels choppy. It will introduce readers to a not-so-distant period whose echoes are still felt today and inspire admiration for young people who had to be brave despite frightening and lonely odds. (Historical fiction. 9-12)

 

Pub Date: Aug. 3, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-59643-168-3

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: June 14, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2010

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