Next book


Expressive, handsome, and well-documented.

Robertson, widely known for his work in the legendary group The Band, crafts a legend-based tale about the unification of warring tribes into what would become known as the Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy.

As a boy, Robertson, of Mohawk and Cayuga heritage, heard an elder tell this story, which may date from the 14th century. It places Hiawatha, a Mohawk, into fresh cultural context and corrects Longfellow. After his family is killed in a raid by the dreaded Onodaga chief, Tadodaho, Hiawatha retreats in bereft solitude. A man in a glowing white stone canoe approaches. Stuttering softly, he shares his message of peace and reconciliation with Hiawatha, asking him to help carry and amplify this message during visits to warring tribes. The pair travels in succession to the Mohawk, Cayuga, Seneca, Oneida, and Onondaga tribes. With difficulty, they overcome resistance, laying groundwork for what would become, by 1722, the Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy. Hiawatha’s first-person narration reveals his own transformation, from grief-stricken vengeance to self-forgiveness, from hatred to joy. Shannon adopts a palette of deep browns, red-golds, and blue-grays, with hints of green. Figures are broad-backed, solemn, and heroically posed. Tadodaho, disfigured by evil, is depicted as a scaly wretch, snakes entwined in his hair. Hiawatha prepares a curative medicine for him; Shannon portrays his recovery and eventual transmogrification as an eagle.

Expressive, handsome, and well-documented. (historical note, acknowledgments, author’s note) (Picture book/folk tale. 5-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 25, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4197-1220-3

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: May 5, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2015

Next book


From the Unicorn Rescue Society series , Vol. 1

Fantasy training wheels for chapter-book readers.

Elliot’s first day of school turns out to be more than he bargained for.

Elliot Eisner—skinny and pale with curly brown hair—is a bit nervous about being the new kid. Thankfully, he hits it off with fellow new student, “punk rock”–looking Uchenna Devereaux, a black girl with twists (though they actually look like dreads in Aly’s illustrations). On a first-day field trip to New Jersey’s Pine Barrens, the pair investigates a noise in the trees. The cause? A Jersey Devil: a blue-furred, red-bellied and -winged mythical creature that looks like “a tiny dragon” with cloven hooves, like a deer’s, on its hind feet. Unwittingly, the duo bonds with the creature by feeding it, and it later follows them back to the bus. Unsurprisingly, they lose the creature (which they alternately nickname Jersey and Bonechewer), which forces them to go to their intimidating, decidedly odd teacher, Peruvian Professor Fauna, for help in recovering it. The book closes with Professor Fauna revealing the truth—he heads a secret organization committed to protecting mythical creatures—and inviting the children to join, a neat setup for what is obviously intended to be a series. The predictable plot is geared to newly independent readers who are not yet ready for the usual heft of contemporary fantasies. A brief history lesson given by a mixed-race associate of Fauna’s in which she compares herself to the American “melting pot” manages to come across as simultaneously corrective and appropriative.

Fantasy training wheels for chapter-book readers. (Fantasy. 7-10)

Pub Date: April 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7352-3170-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: March 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2018

Next book


From the Cavemice series , Vol. 1

Warp back in time for a prehistoric spinoff adventure with Geronimo Stilton’s ancestor, Geronimo Stiltonoot, in Old Mouse City.

Readers will find Geronimo Stiltonoot a familiar character, outfitted differently from descendant Stilton yet still running a newspaper and having wild adventures. In this introduction to prehistoric mouse life, someone has stolen the most powerful and important artifact housed by the Old Mouse City Mouseum: the Stone of Fire. It’s up to Stiltonoot and his fellow sleuth and friend, Hercule Poirat, to uncover not only the theft, but a dangerous plot that jeopardizes all of Old Mouse City. As stand-ins for the rest of the Stilton cast, Stiltonoot has in common with Stilton a cousin named Trap, a sister named Thea and a nephew named Benjamin. The slapstick comedy and design, busy with type changes and color, will be familiar for Stilton readers. The world is fictionalized for comedic effect, featuring funny uses for dinosaurs and cheeky references to how far back in time they are, with only the occasional sidebar that presents facts. The story takes a bit long to get started, spending a lot of time reiterating the worldbuilding information laid out before the first chapter. But once it does start, it is an adventure Stilton readers will enjoy. Geronimo Stiltonoot has the right combination of familiarity and newness to satisfy Stilton fans. (Fiction. 6-10)


Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-545-44774-4

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Nov. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

Close Quickview