AIR SHOW!

Airplane-crazy kids will find new friends in Ellie, who longs to fly stunt planes, and Gill, her know-it-all brother, as they take an exciting flight to the air show in their father’s plane. Filled with the important chatter between pilots and air-traffic controllers about take-off and landing, the book treats young enthusiasts to a backseat tour of a flight, from last-minute fueling to landing. Once the children arrive at the air show, Gill’s book knowledge tells the story of the planes. Showing off his encyclopedic mastery of the subject, Gill spews facts about horsepower, speed and even the distance between the wingtips of the Blue Angel jets in flight (a soda-can length) in a not-always-natural delivery. When Ellie’s dream comes true, though, readers experience the joy of flying through her eyes. Neubecker’s signature ink-and–boldly colored illustrations show the same enthusiasm for flying that the children do and are detailed enough to pore over, especially the gatefold showing all the planes at the show. Though thin on plot, this first book from actor and flight instructor Williams is a perfect book for kids who love planes and flying. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 15, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4231-1185-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2010

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A fair choice, but it may need some support to really blast off.

TINY LITTLE ROCKET

This rocket hopes to take its readers on a birthday blast—but there may or may not be enough fuel.

Once a year, a one-seat rocket shoots out from Earth. Why? To reveal a special congratulatory banner for a once-a-year event. The second-person narration puts readers in the pilot’s seat and, through a (mostly) ballad-stanza rhyme scheme (abcb), sends them on a journey toward the sun, past meteors, and into the Kuiper belt. The final pages include additional information on how birthdays are measured against the Earth’s rotations around the sun. Collingridge aims for the stars with this title, and he mostly succeeds. The rhyme scheme flows smoothly, which will make listeners happy, but the illustrations (possibly a combination of paint with digital enhancements) may leave the viewers feeling a little cold. The pilot is seen only with a 1960s-style fishbowl helmet that completely obscures the face, gender, and race by reflecting the interior of the rocket ship. This may allow readers/listeners to picture themselves in the role, but it also may divest them of any emotional connection to the story. The last pages—the backside of a triple-gatefold spread—label the planets and include Pluto. While Pluto is correctly labeled as a dwarf planet, it’s an unusual choice to include it but not the other dwarfs: Ceres, Eris, etc. The illustration also neglects to include the asteroid belt or any of the solar system’s moons.

A fair choice, but it may need some support to really blast off. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: July 31, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-338-18949-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: David Fickling/Phoenix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: April 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2018

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  • SPONSORED PLACEMENT

One of those rare thrillers whose answers are even more scarifying than its mysteries.

AFTER ALL I'VE DONE

A middle-aged woman sidelined by a horrific accident finds even sharper pains waiting on the other side of her recuperation in this expert nightmare by Hardy, familiar to many readers as Megan Hart, author of All the Secrets We Keep (2017), etc.

Five months ago, while she was on her way to the hospital with an ailing gallbladder, Diana Sparrow’s car hit a deer on a rural Pennsylvania road. When she awoke, she was minus her gallbladder, two working collarbones (and therefore two functioning arms), and her memory. During a recovery that would’ve been impossible without the constant ministrations of Harriett Richmond, the mother-in-law who’s the real reason Diana married her husband, Jonathan, Diana’s discovered that Jonathan has been cheating on her with her childhood friend Valerie Delagatti. Divorce is out of the question: Diana’s grown used to the pampered lifestyle the prenup she’d signed would snatch away from her. Every day is filled with torments. She slips and falls in a pool of wine on her kitchen floor she’s sure she didn’t spill herself. At the emergency room, her credit card and debit card are declined. She feels that she hates oppressively solicitous Harriett but has no idea why. Her sessions with her psychiatrist fail to heal her rage at her adoptive mother, an addict who abandoned her then returned only to disappear again and die an ugly death. Even worse, her attempts to recover her lost memory lead to an excruciatingly paced series of revelations. Val says Diana asked her to seduce Jonathan. Diana realizes that Cole, a fellow student in her watercolor class, isn’t the stranger she’d thought he was. Where can this maze of deceptions possibly end?

One of those rare thrillers whose answers are even more scarifying than its mysteries.

Pub Date: Nov. 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-64385-470-0

Page Count: 310

Publisher: Crooked Lane

Review Posted Online: Aug. 19, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

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VIOLET THE PILOT

Violet Van Winkle is an inventor with a flair for air. Her father manages a junkyard and while other girls play with dolls and tea sets, Violet is busy tinkering with monkey wrenches and needle-nosed pliers building elaborate contraptions, especially flying machines, like her Bicycopter, Pogo Plane and Wing-a-ma-jig. Kids at school make fun of her, but Violet hopes that if she wins an air-show competition with her special plane, The Hornet, they’ll be nice to her. On show day, she carefully calculates her flying time but diverts from her course to rescue a troop of Boy Scouts who have fallen into a river and drops them (literally) at the hospital. Sadly, her heroism makes her too late to enter the air show but her misery evaporates when the mayor presents her with a medal of valor. The comical cover is a grabber: Violet is piloting a homemade plane wearing a helmet and goggles and blowing bubble gum with Orville, her dog’s ears streaming in the wind like her scarf. The cartoon illustrations of watercolor, acrylic and pencil soar with inventive details and angles, e.g. close-up of Violet’s face in midair with bugs on her teeth. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-8037-3125-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2008

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