A highflying mythological memoir alight with joie de vivre.


Gerstein follows up I Am Pan! (2016) with an account of the pranks and exploits of the goat-footed god’s equally free-spirited father.

Bursting with self-confidence, golden from helmet to winged sandals, and, on the cover at least, sprayed with sparkles, Hermes literally outshines a multihued, caricatured supporting cast of gods, demigods, mortals, and monsters parading through the loosely drawn sequential panels. The boasting begins with his birth, first word (“GIMME!”), and—still but 1 day old—invention of the lyre from a tortoise shell and theft of Apollo’s cattle by turning their hooves around so they can’t be tracked. Charming his way out of punishment (and leaving Apollo happily strumming a cowboy song on the lyre), he goes on as messenger of the gods to hoodwink the nasty twin giants Otus and Ephialtes, become a father and a grandfather, rescue Hera’s friend Io from the monster Argus (a knobbly, pitch-black boojum studded with eyes), bestow on Aesop the art of telling fables, and, as the other gods fade into retirement, ultimately find a bright new outlet for his particular talents: “The Internet!” It’s a selective account, with all of Hermes’ amorous adventures except the wooing of Penelopeta (Pan’s mom) skipped over and the violence of the author’s classical source material dialed down enough to, for instance, leave Argus alive and the giants not slaughtered but tricked into a permanent bout of arm-wrestling. Admitting in a closing note to a bit of embellishment (no kidding), Gerstein caps this rollicking revel with a short but scholarly resource list.

A highflying mythological memoir alight with joie de vivre. (Mythology. 7-11)

Pub Date: April 16, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-8234-3942-3

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2019

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A fresh and interesting adaptation, making for an easy crowd pleaser.


From the I Survived Graphic Novel series

A popular prose series gets a graphic revitalization.

Faithfully following its predecessor, the book introduces readers to 10-year-old George, an American boy traveling first class on the Titanic with his aunt Daisy and little sister, Phoebe. When the fateful collision between boat and berg occurs, Phoebe goes missing. As the arctic waters rise, George sets out to find her. Although panic mounts all around, it seems that George’s privilege will save him, until he is shocked to discover otherwise. After the Titanic goes down and he’s safe back at home, George wrestles with his anxieties in a way that is accessibly age-appropriate, albeit a bit facile. In the vein of other graphic adaptations of bestselling series (like the evergreen The Baby Sitter’s Club), the first installment of Tarshis’ sprawling prose disaster oeuvre for young readers is reimagined in visually interesting full-color comic panels that support its recognizable thrilling pace and convenient twists. Many of the most exciting scenes are largely wordless, spotlighting the propulsive action amid growing tensions. New backmatter includes interesting historical facts and photographs of persons and places of interest, including pictures of the first-, second-, and third-class cabins and of relics recovered from the shipwreck. Also included are lists of further reading, both fiction and nonfiction. George, Phoebe, and Daisy are white, as are nearly all the secondary characters as well.    

A fresh and interesting adaptation, making for an easy crowd pleaser. (facts, character bios, bibliographies) (Graphic adaptation. 7-10)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-338-12092-9

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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