AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL

A POP-UP BOOK

The wizard of pop-ups has created a masterpiece—in design, in execution, in boldness of vision, and in artistic and historical integrity. In seven openings, he treats the first verse of Katharine Lee Bates’s poem. “For spacious skies” features the Golden Gate Bridge, its span rising above a blue-and-green bay where small boats leave silver traces in the water. “Purple mountain majesties” is Mount Rushmore, every face recognizable; “above the fruited plain” rises Mesa Verde, an incredibly elaborate construction. Sabuda uses foil lavishly, even to the silver ropes on the paddlewheels of the Mississippi steamboat where “God shed His grace.” The work does not end with the final “from sea to shining sea,” with the Statue of Liberty rising in front of the Manhattan skyline, but continues in another four small, set-in pages. By including the rest of the verses on these miniature folios, he gives readers a few more icons: the Twin Towers with the verse “for heroes proved,” the Liberty Bell for “patriot dreams,” the space shuttle for “pilgrim feet,” and the American eagle for the last line of jubilee. Rejoice, and buy multiple copies. (Pop-up book. 4-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 19, 2004

ISBN: 0-689-84744-0

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2004

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Take strength from the dreamers before you and follow your dreams. Or maybe just roll the dice.

LITTLE JOE CHICKAPIG

Is it a book about aspirations or the backstory for the board game?

Chickapig is defined as “an animal hybrid that is half-chicken and half-pig” and is depicted in yellow, two-legged chick shape with pink pig snout and ears. Young Joe Chickapig lives on a farm that was his grandfather’s dream, but it’s getting Joe down. He dreams of adventure but needs the “courage to follow his heart. / But how could he do it? How could he start?” In a bedtime story, Joe’s mother shares the influential characters that helped Joe’s sailor grandfather “follow his heart against the tide.” It seems that “Grandpa had heard a story told / Of a great big bear who broke the mold. / The bear was tired of striking fear”—so he became a forest doctor and a friend to all. And the bear’s inspiration? “A mouse who went to space.” The mouse, in turn, found hope in a “fierce young dragon” who joined a rock band. And coming full circle, the dragon found courage from a Chickapig warrior who “tired of shields and swords to wield” and established a farm. Chickapig game fans will appreciate this fanciful rhyming tale illustrated in attention-grabbing colors, but readers coming to it cold will note a distinct absence of plot. Mouse and dragon present female; all others are male.

Take strength from the dreamers before you and follow your dreams. Or maybe just roll the dice. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-7944-4452-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Printers Row

Review Posted Online: Oct. 9, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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With plenty left to be resolved, the next entry will be eagerly sought after.

RISE OF THE EARTH DRAGON

From the Dragon Masters series , Vol. 1

Drake has been selected by the king to serve as a Dragon Master, quite a change for an 8-year-old farmer boy.

The dragons are a secret, and the reason King Roland has them is a mystery, but what is clear is that the Dragon Stone has identified Drake as one of the rare few children who have a special connection with dragons and the ability to serve as a trainer. Drake’s dragon is a long brown creature with, at first, no particular talents that Drake can identify. He calls the dragon Worm. It isn’t long before Drake begins to realize he has a very strong connection with Worm and can share what seem to be his dragon’s thoughts. After one of the other Dragon Masters decides to illicitly take the dragons outside, disaster strikes. The cave they are passing through collapses, blocking the passageway, and then Worm’s special talent becomes evident. The first of a new series of early chapter books, this entry is sure to attract fans. Brief chapters, large print, lots of action, attractive illustrations in every spread, including a maplike panorama, an enviable protagonist—who wouldn’t want to be a Dragon Master?—all combine to make an entertaining read.

With plenty left to be resolved, the next entry will be eagerly sought after. (Fantasy. 7-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 24, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-545-64624-6

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Branches/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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