The whole is attractive visually but seems far more like the kind of gift book adults like to give to one another than a...



A “Cinderella” retelling illustrated in a combination of cutaway silhouettes and painted pages.

The story, told simply in bare outline with no inflection nor energy, is not the point in this version of the Cinderella tale. It is based on both Perrault’s and the Grimms’ tellings, according to an introductory note. The point of this small volume, published in Great Britain in 2013, is the wondrous fine if slightly mechanical illustrations. The endpapers are framed in a marvelous curlicued frieze of pumpkins and vines that surrounds a spike-heeled glass slipper. Within the book, every other page is a cut-paper image in a solid matte color, made to work whether it overlays the left- or right-hand page. The non–cut-paper pages are done in pale hues and feature pleasingly repetitive patterns of trees, floral motifs, and so on. For instance, as Cinderella and the Prince dance, first the cut-paper page places them against the ballroom backdrop on recto, and then, when readers turn it, they appear between a beaming king and queen and crabby stepsisters on the verso. The stepsisters are described as ugly and are certainly mean, but in the end, Cinderella forgives them, has them as bridesmaids, and everyone lives happily ever after.

The whole is attractive visually but seems far more like the kind of gift book adults like to give to one another than a version that children might enjoy. (Picture book/fairy tale. 6-9)

Pub Date: June 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-85707-843-5

Page Count: 52

Publisher: Tango Books

Review Posted Online: April 1, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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Fans both young and formerly young will be pleased—100 percent.


Published in magazines, never seen since / Now resurrected for pleasure intense / Versified episodes numbering four / Featuring Marco, and Horton and more!

All of the entries in this follow-up to The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories (2011) involve a certain amount of sharp dealing. Horton carries a Kwuggerbug through crocodile-infested waters and up a steep mountain because “a deal is a deal”—and then is cheated out of his promised share of delicious Beezlenuts. Officer Pat heads off escalating, imagined disasters on Mulberry Street by clubbing a pesky gnat. Marco (originally met on that same Mulberry Street) concocts a baroque excuse for being late to school. In the closer, a smooth-talking Grinch (not the green sort) sells a gullible Hoobub a piece of string. In a lively introduction, uber-fan Charles D. Cohen (The Seuss, The Whole Seuss, and Nothing but the Seuss, 2002) provides publishing histories, places characters and settings in Seussian context, and offers insights into, for instance, the origin of “Grinch.” Along with predictably engaging wordplay—“He climbed. He grew dizzy. His ankles grew numb. / But he climbed and he climbed and he clum and he clum”—each tale features bright, crisply reproduced renditions of its original illustrations. Except for “The Hoobub and the Grinch,” which has been jammed into a single spread, the verses and pictures are laid out in spacious, visually appealing ways.

Fans both young and formerly young will be pleased—100 percent. (Picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 9, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-385-38298-4

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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There’s lots to see and do in this big city.


A set of panoramic views of the urban environment: inside and out, above and belowground, at street level and high overhead.

Thanks to many flaps, pull tabs, spinners, and sliders, viewers can take peeks into stores and apartments, see foliage change through the seasons in a park, operate elevators, make buildings rise and come down, visit museums and municipal offices, take in a film, join a children’s parade, marvel as Christmas decorations go up—even look in on a wedding and a funeral. Balicevic populates each elevated cartoon view with dozens of tiny but individualized residents diverse in age, skin tone, hair color and style, dress, and occupation. He also adds such contemporary touches as an electrical charging station for cars, surveillance cameras, smartphones, and fiber optic cables. Moreover, many flaps conceal diagrammatic views of infrastructure elements like water treatment facilities and sources of electrical power or how products ranging from plate glass and paper to bread, cheese, and T-shirts are manufactured (realistically, none of the workers in the last are white). Baumann’s commentary is largely dispensable, but she does worthily observe on the big final pop-up spread that cities are always changing—often, nowadays, becoming more environmentally friendly.

There’s lots to see and do in this big city. (Informational novelty. 6-9)

Pub Date: April 4, 2017

ISBN: 979-1-02760-079-3

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: May 31, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2017

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