CAPTAIN ARSENIO by Pablo Bernasconi

CAPTAIN ARSENIO

Inventions and (Mis)adventures in Flight
by , illustrated by
Age Range: 7 - 9

KIRKUS REVIEW

Drawing from the pages of a recently “discovered” journal, Bernasconi chronicles the uniformly disastrous experiments of forgotten aviation pioneer Manuel J. Arsenio, an 18th-century Patagonian who, though he had “little knowledge of physics or mechanics and had access only to useless materials,” turned to flight after failing at cheese making, scuba diving and other ventures. Repeated exclamations of “It cannot fail!” notwithstanding, each of Arsenio’s Da Vinci-esque inventions—six of which, from the “Corkscrewpterus,” to the “Hamstertronic,” Bernasconi depicts in detailed collages made from gears, belts, wires and other, mostly metal, found materials—stay intact just long enough to set the hapless captain up for a long fall. Resembling Humpty Dumpty with a pointy nose and a serious underbite, Arsenio cuts a decidedly comic figure, but by the end, his unflagging optimism will have won at least some reader sympathy, and if, as Bernasconi suggests, his journal was found on the Moon, perhaps in the end he did achieve his dream. (Picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: May 2nd, 2005
ISBN: 0-618-50749-3
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2005




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