You could cut the preciousness with a knife. Next up: Toothiana, Queen of the Tooth Fairy armies.

READ REVIEW

E. ASTER BUNNYMUND AND THE WARRIOR EGGS AT THE EARTH'S CORE

From the Guardians series , Vol. 2

A long-eared guardian with a corps of fierce, chocolate warriors helps to rescue the kidnapped children of Santoff Claussen village in this sequel to Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King (2011).

When Pitch, the Nightmare King, sweeps all of the village’s children away to his lair at the Earth’s center, Cossack/mage Nicholas and his intrepid sidekick Katherine hie off to (where else?) Easter Island. There they solicit aid in their recovery from Bunnymund, last of the ageless Pookan Brotherhood and keeper of the second of the five Relics that must be gathered to ensure Pitch’s final defeat. Standing tall in designer shades and richly patterned robes, the “very egg-centric” but powerful lagomorph (inventor of Spring, jokes, chocolate and Australia) hops to. This sets the stage for a rousing subterranean dustup and, for Pitch, another hasty escape. As in the previous episode, Joyce mines common European cultural motifs and lays clever twists and resonances on the result, for a tale as stylized and baroque as the occasional illustrations.

You could cut the preciousness with a knife. Next up: Toothiana, Queen of the Tooth Fairy armies.   (Fantasy. 9-11)

Pub Date: Feb. 21, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4424-3050-1

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: Feb. 15, 2012

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However the compelling fitness of theme and event and the apt but unexpected imagery (the opening sentences compare the...

TUCK EVERLASTING

At a time when death has become an acceptable, even voguish subject in children's fiction, Natalie Babbitt comes through with a stylistic gem about living forever. 

Protected Winnie, the ten-year-old heroine, is not immortal, but when she comes upon young Jesse Tuck drinking from a secret spring in her parents' woods, she finds herself involved with a family who, having innocently drunk the same water some 87 years earlier, haven't aged a moment since. Though the mood is delicate, there is no lack of action, with the Tucks (previously suspected of witchcraft) now pursued for kidnapping Winnie; Mae Tuck, the middle aged mother, striking and killing a stranger who is onto their secret and would sell the water; and Winnie taking Mae's place in prison so that the Tucks can get away before she is hanged from the neck until....? Though Babbitt makes the family a sad one, most of their reasons for discontent are circumstantial and there isn't a great deal of wisdom to be gleaned from their fate or Winnie's decision not to share it. 

However the compelling fitness of theme and event and the apt but unexpected imagery (the opening sentences compare the first week in August when this takes place to "the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning") help to justify the extravagant early assertion that had the secret about to be revealed been known at the time of the action, the very earth "would have trembled on its axis like a beetle on a pin." (Fantasy. 9-11)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1975

ISBN: 0312369816

Page Count: 164

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1975

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Long before Yogi Berra said, “You can observe a lot by watching,” Fabre proved it so.

SMALL WONDERS

JEAN-HENRI FABRE AND HIS WORLD OF INSECTS

The rewards of simply taking time to bend down for a closer look are celebrated in this tribute to the great French entomologist.

Seeing as a lad that “every patch of dirt and tangle of weeds buzzed with insects: dazzling beetles, ferocious wasps, sweet-singing crickets, and more,” young Fabre went on to devote a long life to watching common insects rather than just collecting dead specimens as most of his contemporary colleagues did. The distinctive, enduring affection with which he regarded his diminutive subjects regardless of their often savage behavior comes through clearly here, both in Smith’s warm narrative and Ferri’s equally engaging views of the naturalist. He delightedly discovers a shimmering hoplia beetle beneath a leaf, smiles from his sickbed as a handful of hibernating bees revives after his son carries them indoors, and is wonderstruck by an account of how Cerceris wasps paralyze beetles as live food for offspring. (The illustrator has a little fun with viewers by adding a looming insectile shadow as well as close-up views of hovering wasps in this last scene.) Fabre’s many original discoveries and insights won him renown, and though he is largely unknown to nonspecialists today, his nose-to-nose approach to the natural world is well worth commemorating to modern readers.

Long before Yogi Berra said, “You can observe a lot by watching,” Fabre proved it so. (historical note, timeline, author’s note, annotated source list) (Picture book/biography. 9-11)

Pub Date: May 12, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4778-2632-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2015

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