THE BUNDLE AT BLACKTHORPE HEATH by Mark Copeland
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THE BUNDLE AT BLACKTHORPE HEATH

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 11 - 13
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Why bother with flea circuses when elephant-sized trained snails and stag beetles are eager to perform under the big top to rhythms beaten out by honeybee drummers, while clowns with frisky pill-bug companions provoke shouts of laughter from the crowds? Spinning a tale from this enticing premise, as well as his own experiences with the puppets and displays that make up his native England’s “Grand Travelling Insect Circus Museum,” Copeland has two young human performers, with help from a loyal pet ladybug, uncover a dastardly plot by two disaffected flies and a malign wasp to bring rival circuses together at a crossroads. Said encounter will certainly result in a no-holds-barred dustup, or “bundle.” Both in the narrative and in full-page, circus-poster style illustrations, the author ingeniously envisions a late Victorian society in which humans and insects, most of whom speak in cadences distinctive to their species, mingle freely. The expertly tightened suspense builds to a magnificently funny climax with an entirely satisfying closing twist—and as a lagniappe, the author appends a manual for training any similarly oversized creatures that may present themselves. A good prospect for hottest ticket of the season. (website) (Fantasy. 11-13)

Pub Date: June 26th, 2006
ISBN: 0-618-56302-4
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2006




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