Slow and steady wins the race—though being tardy enough to miss the avalanche helps.

READ REVIEW

MONSIEUR ALBERT RIDES TO GLORY

Framing a distant cousin to “The Tortoise and the Hare” in loosely sketched watercolors and delicious dactyls, Graham and his brother-in-law present an aging but game Parisian who quixotically enters a bicycle race to the Côte d’Azur.

Having impulsively lined up against hotshots like “handsome young François, surrounded by girls, / with a sneer on his lips and a shine on his curls,” 60-year-old Albert sets off on the grueling course and resolutely pedals on as others whiz by. Having labored through days of rain and snow, he reaches the top of the mountain pass at last—in time to watch as a giant snowball plummets past, snatches up all the other cyclists and plunges into the sea far below. As the erstwhile entrants drag their way to shore, Albert “rides into Nice, / with an escorting bevy of mounted police. / A hug from a film star, a kiss from the mayor, / for Albert Larousse—cyclist extraordinaire!” The verses’ clever rhymes and the handwritten-style typeface both complement Graham’s informal scenes of the balding, white-haired gent plugging along or sitting at his ease with bread and wine as flocks of helmeted cyclists zoom past—and ultimately holding up a golden trophy in triumph. Bravo!

Slow and steady wins the race—though being tardy enough to miss the avalanche helps. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: June 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-74237-680-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Allen & Unwin

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Make space for this clever blend of science and self-realization.

A PLACE FOR PLUTO

If Pluto can’t be a planet—then what is he?

Having been a regular planet for “the better part of forever,” Pluto is understandably knocked out of orbit by his sudden exclusion. With Charon and his four other moons in tow he sets off in search of a new identity. Unfortunately, that only spins him into further gloom, as he doesn’t have a tail like his friend Halley’s comet, is too big to join Ida and the other asteroids, and feels disinclined to try to crash into Earth like meteoroids Gem and Persi. Then, just as he’s about to plunge into a black hole of despair, an encounter with a whole quartet of kindred spheroids led by Eris rocks his world…and a follow-up surprise party thrown by an apologetic Saturn (“Dwarf planet has a nice RING to it”) and the other seven former colleagues literally puts him “over the moon.” Demmer gives all the heavenly bodies big eyes (some, including the feminine Saturn, with long lashes) and, on occasion, short arms along with distinctive identifying colors or markings. Dressing the troublemaking meteoroids in do-rags and sunglasses sounds an off note. Without mentioning that the reclassification is still controversial, Wade closes with a (somewhat) straighter account of Pluto’s current official status and the reasons for it.

Make space for this clever blend of science and self-realization. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-68446-004-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Capstone Young Readers

Review Posted Online: April 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Perhaps this series fills a reading niche, but this underwhelming third book in the series should be its last

SHAI & EMMIE STAR IN TO THE RESCUE!

From the Shai & Emmie series

A book about rescuing in which no rescue happens.

Shai, an African-American girl, and her white “bestie-best friend,” Emmie, play in the school orchestra at Sweet Auburn School for the Performing Arts. One afternoon, Shai spots a brown-and-white critter in her family’s backyard garden and assumes it’s a stray cat. She draws a picture of it and creates posters to figure out which neighbor has lost the cat. When Shai lures the animal with food, she sees that it’s not a cat but a rabbit, but being a city kid, she doesn’t understand that it’s wild. After Shai and Emmie capture it in a pet carrier, Shai’s veterinarian mother explains that the rabbit should live wild in the city. Shai then finds a better pet solution, even though their household already has eight pets. Besides its child-star author and the portrayal of a positive cross-racial friendship, this novel has little to recommend it. The art may give readers a point of reference for some scenes, but it adds little to the story. Furthermore, though children might appreciate Shai’s made-up words and phrases (“hunormous,” “sleepifying,” “lickety-clean,” “amazetastic”), this book’s readers, who are likely new to chapter books, may find them difficult to decipher.

Perhaps this series fills a reading niche, but this underwhelming third book in the series should be its last . (Fiction. 6-8)

Pub Date: June 19, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4814-5888-7

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more