WONDER WOMAN

THE STORY OF THE AMAZON PRINCESS

Cosentino’s third introduction to a costumed superhero for newly independent readers (Superman, 2010, etc.) adequately covers the basics while resolutely placing its subject on the moral and ethical high ground. Blending the original DC origin story with its several subsequent adjustments and reboots, he lets Diana Prince herself narrate the account. She describes her birth, the athletic contest in which she won her silver bracelets and other gear, how she set out to protect the world from evil Ares and makes it her mission “to teach peace and respect to all…and to show the world how to live in harmony with nature.” Using thick black lines and bright colors and working in full spreads with the occasional inset panel or panel sequence, he depicts his scantily clad Amazon in stylized heroic postures—legs wide, fists at the ready, granite chin thrust forward, rosebud lips in a pout of concentration. This rarely varies as she takes out Circe and other threats, rescues an Inuit family from an ice floe, poses with smiling animals and people and soars in her semivisible jet. Wonder Woman uses her Lasso of Truth without ever clearly explaining its powers, and even younger readers may feel some cognitive dissonance between her claim that she works “through love and kindness” and her evident violence against Ares. Still, she stands as proof that there’s more to this superhero business than big muscles and testosterone-fueled aggression. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-670-06256-0

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2011

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A brisk if bland offering for series fans, but cleverer metafictive romps abound.

HOW TO CATCH A GINGERBREAD MAN

From the How To Catch… series

The titular cookie runs off the page at a bookstore storytime, pursued by young listeners and literary characters.

Following on 13 previous How To Catch… escapades, Wallace supplies sometimes-tortured doggerel and Elkerton, a set of helter-skelter cartoon scenes. Here the insouciant narrator scampers through aisles, avoiding a series of elaborate snares set by the racially diverse young storytime audience with help from some classic figures: “Alice and her mad-hat friends, / as a gift for my unbirthday, / helped guide me through the walls of shelves— / now I’m bound to find my way.” The literary helpers don’t look like their conventional or Disney counterparts in the illustrations, but all are clearly identified by at least a broad hint or visual cue, like the unnamed “wizard” who swoops in on a broom to knock over a tower labeled “Frogwarts.” Along with playing a bit fast and loose with details (“Perhaps the boy with the magic beans / saved me with his cow…”) the author discards his original’s lip-smacking climax to have the errant snack circling back at last to his book for a comfier sort of happily-ever-after.

A brisk if bland offering for series fans, but cleverer metafictive romps abound. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 3, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-7282-0935-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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A story of friendship that is both lively and lovely

KONDO & KEZUMI VISIT GIANT ISLAND

From the Kondo & Kezumi series , Vol. 1

Two friends embark upon a high-seas adventure.

Kondo, a large lemon-colored creature with wide round eyes, spends his day on his island home with his best friend, tangerine-hued Kezumi. Together, they frolic on their idyllic isle picking berries (tall Kondo nabs the higher fruit while Kezumi helps to retrieve the lower) while surrounded by tiny “flitter-birds” and round “fluffle-bunnies.” One day, Kezumi finds a map in a bottle that declares “WE ARE NOT ALONE.” Inspired by visions of a larger world, Kondo and Kezumi fashion a boat from a bathtub and set sail. The pair visits fantastical islands—deliciously cheese-laden Dairy Isle, the fiery and fearsome Fireskull Island—until they eventually settle upon the titular Giant Island, where they meet Albert, a gigantic gray talking mountain who is—obviously—unable to leave. Enthralled by his new friends, Albert wants them to stay forever. After Albert makes a fraught decision, Kondo and Kezumi find themselves at a crossroads and must confront their new friend. Goodner and Tsurumi’s brightly illustrated chapter book should find favor with fans of Kate DiCamillo and Chris Van Dusen’s similarly designed Mercy Watson series. Short, wry, descriptive sentences make for an equally enjoyable experience whether read aloud or independently. Episodic chapters move the action along jauntily; the conclusion is somewhat abrupt, but it promises more exploration and adventures for the best friends. (This review was originally published in the June 1, 2019, issue. The book data has been updated to reflect changes in publisher and date of publication.)

A story of friendship that is both lively and lovely (Fantasy. 6-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 27, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-368-02577-5

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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