Beautiful, kid-friendly images and a charismatic feline narrator should hook young readers on this introduction to Russia.

READ REVIEW

ÁNDALE PUSS

WHERE TO NEXT?

A cat embarks on a journey and must figure out where she’s arrived in this debut picture book.

Ándale Puss is a gray, overalls-wearing cat who packs her bag to travel the world. Parachuting into a new location, she’s not quite sure where she’s landed, only that she’s cold in the snowy environment. After encountering a local warthog who kindly serves her borscht (“She dips in her tongue, and then her whole head. / Her kitty cat whiskers are turning bright red!”), some Matryoshka foxes startle her, causing her to flee into a bookstore. There, a sympathetic bear bookseller hands her works by Chekhov, Tolstoy, and Dostoyevsky. Later, Ándale Puss sees a sign for “Moskva” and realizes she’s in Russia. The charming feline is an enthusiastic narrator, and debut illustrator Gibbs’ watercolors present her full of energy along with a captivating cast of animals reminiscent in design, if not technique, of Richard Scarry. Handley relates the humorous adventure in accessible and flowing rhyming couplets. The interjections of Russian script, with suggested pronunciations and the English translations below, help readers feel how strange it must be for Ándale Puss to confront foreign phrases while exposing them to the sounds and shapes of another language. Endnotes describe how the author learned that a smile can bridge linguistic and culture gaps and help travelers make friends—a moral that the cat’s escapades wholeheartedly and effectively represent.

Beautiful, kid-friendly images and a charismatic feline narrator should hook young readers on this introduction to Russia.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: BookBaby

Review Posted Online: Sept. 6, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A brisk, buffed-up finish threaded with inner and outer, not to mention sartorial, changes.

THE TOWER OF NERO

From the Trials of Apollo series , Vol. 5

In this tumultuous series closer, Apollo, transformed into a mortal teenager, takes on both a deified emperor in a luxurious Manhattan high-rise and an older adversary.

Lester/Apollo’s coast-to-coast quest reaches its climactic stage as, with help from both eager squads of fledgling demigods from Camp Half-Blood and reluctant allies from realms deep below New York, he invades the palatial lair of Emperor Nero—followed by a solo bout with another foe from a past struggle. Riordan lays on the transformation of the heedless, arrogant sun god to a repentant lover of his long-neglected semidivine offspring and of humanity in general, which has served as the series’ binding theme, thickly enough to have his humbled narrator even apologizing (twice!) to his underwear for having to change it periodically. Still, the author delivers a fast, action-driven plot with high stakes, lots of fighting, and occasional splashes of gore brightened by banter and silly bits, so readers aren’t likely to mind all the hand-wringing. He also leaves any real-life parallels to the slick, megalomaniacal, emotionally abusive Nero entirely up to readers to discern and dishes out just deserts all round, neatly tying up loose ends in a set of closing vignettes. The supporting cast is predominantly White, with passing mention of diverse representation.

A brisk, buffed-up finish threaded with inner and outer, not to mention sartorial, changes. (glossary) (Fantasy. 10-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 6, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4847-4645-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Oct. 22, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes.

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S HALLOWEEN

A lift-the-flap book gives the littlest trick-or-treaters some practice identifying partygoers under their costumes.

Little Blue Truck and his buddy Toad are off to a party, and they invite readers (and a black cat) along for the ride: “ ‘Beep! Beep! Beep!’ / says Little Blue. / ‘It’s Halloween!’ / You come, too.” As they drive, they are surprised (and joined) by many of their friends in costume. “Who’s that in a tutu / striking a pose / up on the tiniest / tips of her toes? / Under the mask / who do you see?” Lifting the flap unmasks a friend: “ ‘Quack!’ says the duck. / ‘It’s me! It’s me!’ ” The sheep is disguised as a clown, the cow’s a queen, the pig’s a witch, the hen and her chick are pirates, and the horse is a dragon. Not to be left out, Little Blue has a costume, too. The flaps are large and sturdy, and enough of the animals’ characteristic features are visible under and around the costumes that little ones will be able to make successful guesses even on the first reading. Lovely curvy shapes and autumn colors fade to dusky blues as night falls, and children are sure to notice the traditional elements of a Halloween party: apple bobbing, lit jack-o’-lanterns, and punch and treats.

Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-544-77253-3

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more