BOING!

Inspired perhaps by the superhuman leaps in martial arts or Spiderman movies, Taylor and Ingman follow a champion trampoliner dubbed the “Great Elastic Marvel” as he inadvertently catapults himself out of a high window, then narrowly escapes one deadly fall after another thanks to a pile of mattresses, an awning, and other conveniently placed springy surfaces. Ingram goes for a postmodern, Maira Kalman look, creating variously canted aerial scenes with swaths of violently contrasting color, compressed perspectives, and flat figures delineated by just a few strokes of pen or brush. His art offers some visual energy, but it never quite matches the stomach-dropping vertigo awaiting viewers of Mordicai Gerstein’s Man Who Walked Between the Towers (2003). Having soared all over town, Great Elastic Marvel flies back through his window, crash-lands, and is last seen bouncing merrily through a hospital ward, impeded not at all by a plaster fanny-cast. You just can’t keep a good trampolinist down—but that sense of wild motion isn’t quite there. Good premise, but perhaps more suited to film than paper. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: July 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-7636-2475-6

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2004

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

HOW I BECAME A PIRATE

Thanks to parrot-toting Braidbeard and his gloriously disreputable crew, a lad discovers the ups and downs of a pirate’s life in this rousing mini-epic. His mom and dad busy on another part of the beach, young Jeremy happily joins a band of hook-handed, eye-patched, snaggle-toothed pirates aboard their ship, learning pirate table manners (none), enjoying a game of nautical soccer until a shark eats the ball, then happily retiring without having to brush teeth, or even don pajamas. But then Jeremy learns that pirates don’t get tucked in, or get bedtime stories, and as for good night kisses—Avast! Worse yet, no one offers comfort when a storm hits. So, giving over the pirate’s life, Jeremy shows the crew where to bury its treasure (his backyard), and bids them goodbye. Shannon outfits Braidbeard’s leering, pop-eyed lot in ragged but colorful pirate dress, and gives his young ruffian-in-training a belt and bandanna to match. This isn’t likely to turn pirate wannabees into landlubbers, but it will inspire a chorus of yo-ho-hos. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2003

ISBN: 0-15-201848-4

Page Count: 44

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2003

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more