THE BUTTERFLY BALL AND THE GRASSHOPPER’S FEAST

Originally published in 1973 and sumptuously repackaged, this new edition preserves the old one’s verbal and visual extravagance while adding small vignettes to the revised “Nature Notes,” plus a closing essay on Aldridge’s career. Inspired by an 1807 poem about a grand party of (British) woodland creatures, Aldridge and airbrush artist Harry Willcock created the art first—crafting scenes of accurately rendered mice, insects and other animals dressing up in wildly fanciful historical costume to frolic beneath a broad oak. The pictures are brighter than before and still worth poring over for their riotous arrays of fine detail, visual jokes and general stage business. The rhymed text, a much expanded version of its 19th-century predecessor, is just as elegant and close to Nature as the art: “The most wonderful tune in the world / (All other claims are false) / Is Simon Centipede’s masterpiece, / The Lepidoptera Waltz.” Though adults are still likely to remain the largest audience, younger fans of Kurt Cyrus’s Oddhopper Opera (2001) and like direct descendants will respond. (Picture book/poetry. 8-10, adult)

Pub Date: March 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-7636-4422-2

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Templar/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2009

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JUDY MOODY SAVES THE WORLD!

McDonald’s irrepressible third-grader (Judy Moody Gets Famous, 2001, etc.) takes a few false steps before hitting full stride. This time, not only has her genius little brother Stink submitted a competing entry in the Crazy Strips Band-Aid design contest, but in the wake of her science teacher’s heads-up about rainforest destruction and endangered animals, she sees every member of her family using rainforest products. It’s all more than enough to put her in a Mood, which gets her in trouble at home for letting Stink’s pet toad, Toady, go free, and at school for surreptitiously collecting all the pencils (made from rainforest cedar) in class. And to top it off, Stink’s Crazy Strips entry wins a prize, while she gets . . . a certificate. Chronicled amusingly in Reynolds’s frequent ink-and-tea drawings, Judy goes from pillar to post—but she justifies the pencil caper convincingly enough to spark a bottle drive that nets her and her classmates not only a hundred seedling trees for Costa Rica, but the coveted school Giraffe Award (given to those who stick their necks out), along with T-shirts and ice cream coupons. Judy’s growing corps of fans will crow “Rare!” right along with her. (Fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2002

ISBN: 0-7636-1446-7

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2002

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WATCH OUT FOR SHARKS!

For shark fanciers, a look at a Los Angeles Natural History Museum exhibit, Sharks: Fact and Fantasy. Now touring the country, it includes models of large and small sharks, many of them swimming in simulated undersea settings. The text follows a group of young museum-goers as they examine shark teeth, fossil sharks, sharks in art, and a living shark embryo; shark anatomy, special adaptations, types of sharks, and some shark facts are also included. Photos are clear, colorful and engaging. Not comprehensive, but an attractive added purchase. Pronunciation guide; additional reading; index. (Nonfiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 23, 1991

ISBN: 0-395-57560-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1991

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