This companion to Great Deeds of the Superheroes (1990) has a tentative air: Whereas Saxby cemented the first collection of myths and legends by showing the common features of male heroes and hero tales everywhere, here he claims to have found no such correspondences. Of his 18 subjects, some—Athena, Judith, Boadicea, Joan of Arc—are undeniably heroic. But Aphrodite cuts a decidedly unheroic figure; it's appalling to think of Circe or Medea as role models; and the Zuni ``Hunter Maiden'' is not only rescued from a demon by two warrior gods, but they also do her hunting for her. The Vasilissa and Pocahantas tales are familiar; but the story of Miao Shan, who had her hands and eyes removed to restore her father's health and was later deified as Guanyin (the Chinese goddess of mercy), is less so, while the saga of Mary Bryant, an 18th-century convict who escaped the penal colony of Botany Bay with a 3000-mile journey in an open boat, will be new to most readers. Ingpen offers a series of powerfully telling portraits (some referring to Botticelli and other old masters) realistically depicting women of many ages, miens, and moods. Aside from occasional references in the text, there are no notes on sources beyond a perfunctory bibliography. Handsome, but of substantially less value than its predecessor. Index. (Nonfiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 16, 1992

ISBN: 0-87226-348-7

Page Count: 156

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 1992

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A change of pace from the teeming swarms of fantasy and paranormal romance but too underpowered to achieve escape velocity.



A low-wattage collection of original stories and poems, as unmemorable as it is unappealingly titled.

The collection was inspired by a perceived paucity of short science fiction for teen readers, and its production costs were covered by a Kickstarter campaign. The editors gather a dozen poems and 21 stories from a stable of contributors who, after headliners Jack McDevitt and Nancy Holder, will be largely unknown even to widely read fans of the genre. The tales place their characters aboard spacecraft or space stations, on other worlds or in future dystopias, but only rarely do the writers capture a credibly adolescent voice or sensibility. Standouts in this department are the Heinlein-esque “The Stars Beneath Our Feet,” by Stephen D. Covey & Sandra McDonald, about a first date/joyride in space gone wrong, and Camille Alexa’s portrait of a teen traumatized by a cyberspace assault (“Over It”). Along with a few attempts to craft futuristic slang, only Lavie Tidhar’s fragmentary tale of Tel Aviv invaded by successive waves of aliens, doppelgangers, zombies and carnivorous plants (“The Myriad Dangers”) effectively lightens the overall earnest tone. Aside from fictional aliens and modified humans, occasional references to dark skin (“Out of the Silent Sea,” Dale Lucas) are the only signs of ethnic diversity. Most of the free-verse poetry makes only oblique, at best, references to science-fictional themes.

A change of pace from the teeming swarms of fantasy and paranormal romance but too underpowered to achieve escape velocity. (author bios) (Science fiction/short stories. 12-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 12, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-9847824-0-8

Page Count: 290

Publisher: Underwords

Review Posted Online: Dec. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet


A rural, pleasantly ramshackle garage is the setting for this lively book. Each spread features the station and its forecourt, with a flurry of activity accompanying each turn of the page: The garage opens up for the day; a bashed-in car arrives; a brief squall soaks a lady, her swain, and their tony convertible. Over it all presides Mr. Fingers, a harmlessly gangsterish type in striped trousers and white jacket. Dupasquier (Andy's Pirate Ship, 1994, etc.) keeps the text quick, simple, and hand-in-glove with the illustrations (``Mick and Mack start to work on Mr. Walker's car. Pete serves the first customer''). These watercolors are equally nimble, deliberately cartoonish in the linework and saturated colors. The front and rear flap covers fold out with an array of questions and puzzles pertaining to the story. Bright, boisterous, fun; for children who take to the format, there are two companion volumes: A Busy Day at the Airport (ISBN 1-56402-591-8) and A Busy Day at the Building Site (592-6). (Picture book. 4+)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1996

ISBN: 1-56402-590-X

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 1995

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet