This gorgeously illustrated, inventive book is sure to entrance young readers.

AND A BOOK

THE INHABITANTS OF MYTH

Creatures from mythology break the fourth wall (or page) in this surrealistic guide by author/illustrator Molinet.

A young reader, carrying crumb cake, milk, and the same book readers hold, begins to flip through the pages of the book. On the left page of each spread, a mythological creature, introduced by a rhyming couplet, responds to the actions of the reader, who is shown reading the book and variously spilling crumbs and milk and coloring on or accidentally ripping the pages. The book takes mistreatment from the reader—but also from the very active mythological creatures. The dwarves, for example, dig a hole right through their opposing page. Featuring the book itself in the illustrations creates a delightful fun-house effect. The child, pale-skinned and blond, looks to be a first or second grader, and the vocabulary is appropriate for readers of that age. The beautiful, painterly illustrations and wild tessellated backgrounds offer details for both younger lap readers and older independent ones. Molinet’s rhymes scan unevenly, but it’s the illustrations that will draw readers and keep them turning the pages. An afterword describes the concept of tessellations and offers a longer note on each creature. While older readers may wish Molinet were more specific about the cultural origins he cites (rather than saying “specific to one culture”), Molinet’s stated purpose is to give them enough to start their own research.

This gorgeously illustrated, inventive book is sure to entrance young readers.

Pub Date: Oct. 20, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-73335-480-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Notable Kids Publishing

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2020

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Eeney meeney miney moe, catch this series before it goes! (Adventure. 7-9)

DANGER! TIGER CROSSING

From the Fantastic Frame series , Vol. 1

Two kids get up close and personal with some great works of art in this first in a new series.

Tiger Brooks is used to his little sister’s fantastical stories. So when the top-hatted orange pig she describes turns out to be not only real, but a next-door neighbor, Tiger enlists the help of his kooky new friend, Luna, to investigate. It turns out the pig works for the reclusive painter Viola Dots. Years ago a magical picture frame swallowed up her only son, and she’s searched for him in artworks ever since. When Tiger’s tinkering starts the magic up again, he and Luna are sucked into a reproduction of Henri Rousseau’s Surprised! or Tiger in a Tropical Storm, hungry predator and all. After meeting and failing to rescue Viola’s son in this adventure, the series is set up for the intrepid pair to infiltrate other classic paintings in the future. Backmatter provides information on the real Rousseau and his life. Oliver keeps the plot itself snappy and peppy. While there are few surprises, there’s also an impressive lack of lag time. This is helped in no small part by Kallis’ art, which goes from pen-and-ink drawings to full-blown color images once the kids cross over into the painting. Tiger is a white boy, and Luna is a dark-haired Latina.

Eeney meeney miney moe, catch this series before it goes! (Adventure. 7-9)

Pub Date: April 26, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-448-48087-9

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2016

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Italics and exclamation points may be overused, but this new humorous series is full of gently amusing magical surprises.

THE SUPER-SPOOKY FRIGHT NIGHT!

From the Hubble Bubble series , Vol. 1

Shades of Bewitched, the old TV show featuring a witch married to a regular guy.

This new chapter-book series stars Pandora, a white girl with two grandmas—the good witch, Granny Crow, in a patterned minidress, whose magical powers enliven any party or school outing, and Granny Podmore, in her cardigan and plaid skirt, a kind but stereotypical grandmother who cleans and cooks. Pandora’s friends include Nellie, a black girl, and Nellie’s mom is also depicted as black in the exuberant line drawings with gray washes. The three chapterlong adventures are rather tame, meant for readers who want fun rather than fright. In “The Super-Spooky Fright Night!” (all titles have exclamation points), the two grandmothers host a Halloween party. Granny Crow creates “bat-shaped cookies that hung around the bowls, and a custard cat (that actually meowed!).” Granny Podmore makes “the neatest swans” from napkins. Granny Crow conjures up musical broomsticks when Granny Podmore wants to introduce musical chairs. The evening ends happily when Granny Podmore uses Ollie, her vacuum cleaner, to suck up little pumpkins from Granny Crow’s pumpkin pop gone wild. Only Granny Crow appears in the other stories, making teddy bears come alive to give a “teddy bears’ picnic!” and causing a nasty teacher to accidentally cast a spell that turns a school swimming lesson into utter chaos.

Italics and exclamation points may be overused, but this new humorous series is full of gently amusing magical surprises. (Fantasy. 7-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 23, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7636-8653-6

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Nosy Crow/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: June 1, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

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