THE ZOMBIE NITE CAFÉ

Here’s an eatery that stands out from the crowd—not only for its menu, which features Chicken McMaggots and Eyeballs Flambé, but also for a clientele that runs to vampires, ghouls, aliens, specters and less identifiable uglies. Though Kutner has a tendency to force the rhymes (in what is supposed to be a couplet, the Bogeyman arrives “To celebrate one more birthday / In the Zombie Nite Café”), Long depicts a rib-tickling gallery of comically oogy, popeyed customers oozing or staggering through the door to place orders or make for the “All U Dare To Eat” buffet. The boy narrator who wanders in gets a hostile reception—“ ‘What do you want?’ the waitress said. / She glared at me and scratched one head”—and beats a hasty retreat, but readers will definitely be tempted to linger. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-8234-1963-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2007

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

ONE CANDLE

This Hanukkah story about a family’s ritual reenactment of Grandma and great-aunt Rose’s Hanukkah spent at Buchenwald many years ago during the “bad time” propounds a disturbing view of the Holocaust. Grandma and great-aunt Rose demonstrate to the family how they hollowed out a potato stolen from the kitchen at the camp, filled it with a dab of stolen margarine, made a wick from a piece of thread, and lit a candle to commemorate the holiday. Popp’s (Sister Anne’s Hands, 1998) realistic drawings of the celebration are soft and subtly colored, reflecting the family’s warmth and closeness, while the drawings of the camp are ghostly in sepia tones. Afterwards the whole family steps outside to look at the Hanukkah lights through the window and drink a toast to life. The disturbing piece is Grandpa’s comment that “The Germans didn’t like a lot of people. It wasn’t only the Jews.” For many, this is a deeply offensive statement, implying as it does that the Jews were not singled out by Hitler and the Germans for the very specific goal of total destruction. Even in the context of human history, the single-mindedness, efficiency, and technological resources put to the task make Hitler’s war against the Jews exceptional. Grandpa’s comment would be problematic in any event, but out of the mouth of the husband of a Holocaust survivor it is troubling indeed. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2002

ISBN: 0-060-28115-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2002

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

AN ELF FOR CHRISTMAS

The text in Garland’s book has little merit, and appears mostly as an excuse for the digital artwork. The night before Christmas, Tingle, a diligent elf in Santa’s workshop, falls asleep in the cockpit of a toy plane he has been working on. When the plane is wrapped, so is he, and the package is tucked into Santa’s sleigh and delivered to Joey for Christmas. Tingle gets homesick, flies the plane homeward, runs out of power, and hitches a ride with a polar bear. Garland makes no effort to endow his principals with any personality or presence; the artwork suffers from a grating juxtaposition of hyperrealism and smoky, blurred imagery. The proportions and depths of field are discomfittingly exaggerated, except for a scene in which the northern lights are on display above Santa’s workshop—there the otherworldliness perfectly matches the event. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-525-46212-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1999

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more