GORILLA GARAGE

A boy and his dad are out for a drive when their car breaks down. A tow truck happens by…driven by a gorilla! Back at the gorilla garage, the humans wait with chimps while gorillas fix their car. When Kong the movie actor causes a scene, the boy slips out and spies orangutans and baboons before the gorillas put him behind the wheel of the car. Dad tries to intervene, but the mechanic says the “really expensive” repair will be free—if the boy drives home. Shulman’s tale is too often slave to its rhyme and not nearly as much fun as the premise might promise. The boy’s surprised to discover the gorilla garage exists, but then he reports, “That’s where I found an orangutan crew, / pumping the gas as orangutans do”—how could he know? There’s no reason for the gorillas to insist the boy drive, and the terms ape and monkey are used interchangeably. Nguyen’s Photoshop-colored pen-and-ink illustrations are by far the best feature. This only warrants purchase where simian stories are in high demand. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-7614-5461-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Marshall Cavendish

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2009

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Chilling in the best ways.

CREEPY CRAYON!

From the Creepy Tales! series

When a young rabbit who’s struggling in school finds a helpful crayon, everything is suddenly perfect—until it isn’t.

Jasper is flunking everything except art and is desperate for help when he finds the crayon. “Purple. Pointy…perfect”—and alive. When Jasper watches TV instead of studying, he misspells every word on his spelling test, but the crayon seems to know the answers, and when he uses the crayon to write, he can spell them all. When he faces a math quiz after skipping his homework, the crayon aces it for him. Jasper is only a little creeped out until the crayon changes his art—the one area where Jasper excels—into something better. As guilt-ridden Jasper receives accolade after accolade for grades and work that aren’t his, the crayon becomes more and more possessive of Jasper’s attention and affection, and it is only when Jasper cannot take it anymore that he discovers just what he’s gotten himself into. Reynolds’ text might as well be a Rod Serling monologue for its perfectly paced foreboding and unsettling tension, both gentled by lightly ominous humor. Brown goes all in to match with a grayscale palette for everything but the purple crayon—a callback to black-and-white sci-fi thrillers as much as a visual cue for nascent horror readers. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Chilling in the best ways. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 23, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5344-6588-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 25, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2022

Did you like this book?

LIBRARY LION

Knudsen and Hawkes pick a perfect setting to express the idea that breaking rules can sometimes be a good thing. When a lion wanders into a small town public library the Head Librarian, Miss Merriweather, brushes off the protestations of her realistically officious colleague Mr. McBee and allows it to stay—so long as it keeps quiet, doesn’t run and makes itself useful cleaning books and licking envelopes while waiting for storytime to begin. Anxious-looking patrons of all ages quickly become accepting ones in Hawkes’s soft toned watercolors, and if Miss Merriweather’s hair and dress seem a bit stereotypical, occasional CRT monitors balance glimpses of rubber date stamps and a card catalog in his gracious, old style interiors. When Miss Merriweather takes a fall, the lion roars to attract help, then slinks out in shame—but McBee redeems himself by bustling out into the rain to inform the offender that Exceptions to the Rules are sometimes allowed. Consider this a less prescriptive alternative to Eric A. Kimmel’s I Took My Frog to the Library (1990), illustrated by Blanche Sims—and it doesn’t hurt that the maned visitor is as huge and friendly looking as the one in James Daugherty’s classic Andy and the Lion. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-7636-2262-1

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2006

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more