ROBIN HOOK, PIRATE HUNTER!

What do you get when you mix Robin Hood with Peter Pan, and throw in a dash of The Lord of the Flies? You get a new, original, tall tale from folkmeister Kimmel (Gershon’s Monster: A Story for the Jewish New Year, 2000, etc.). Found as an infant cradled in the arms of a giant octopus, Robin is raised to be a pirate by the notorious James Hook. The passage of years proves that Robin is just too nice to be a pirate, and he is cast away on a desert island, where he learns the language of the animals and takes charge of a group of similarly marooned children. In their trusty craft, the Sandpiper, and aided by the birds and animals, they crusade to thwart the region’s pirates. While some of the individual conceits work nicely—the children “put itching powder in Blackbeard’s beard, and they erased the ‘X’ on Captain Flint’s treasure map so that he would never find the buried treasure”—the text never overcomes one of the basic problems inherent in so many pirate stories: the pirates are simply more interesting than Robin, who comes across as something of a namby-pamby. Dooling’s (The Amazing Life of Benjamin Franklin, p. 119, etc.) capable oils fall victim to this syndrome as well, reveling in depictions of pirates in all their roguery but giving short shrift to the goody-goody Robin. (Young mariners will also wonder how the Sandpiper, which seems to be constructed of seaweed and sticks, manages to stay afloat.) There’s lots of mischief and fun here, but its hero simply can’t measure up to its villains. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-590-68199-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2000

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A touching, beautifully illustrated story of greatest interest to those in the New York City area.

RED AND LULU

A pair of cardinals is separated and then reunited when their tree home is moved to New York City to serve as the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.

The male cardinal, Red, and his female partner, Lulu, enjoy their home in a huge evergreen tree located in the front yard of a small house in a pleasant neighborhood. When the tree is cut down and hauled away on a truck, Lulu is still inside the tree. Red follows the truck into the city but loses sight of it and gets lost. The birds are reunited when Red finds the tree transformed with colored lights and serving as the Christmas tree in a complex of city buildings. When the tree is removed after Christmas, the birds find a new home in a nearby park. Each following Christmas, the pair visit the new tree erected in the same location. Attractive illustrations effectively handle some difficult challenges of dimension and perspective and create a glowing, magical atmosphere for the snowy Christmas trees. The original owners of the tree are a multiracial family with two children; the father is African-American and the mother is white. The family is in the background in the early pages, reappearing again skating on the rink at Rockefeller Center with their tree in the background.

A touching, beautifully illustrated story of greatest interest to those in the New York City area. (author’s note) (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 19, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-7733-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Action, clever humor, delightful illustrations and expectation-defying secret identities—when does the next one come out?

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2014

  • New York Times Bestseller

THE PRINCESS IN BLACK

From the Princess in Black series , Vol. 1

Perfect Princess Magnolia has a secret—her alter ego is the Princess in Black, a superhero figure who protects the kingdom!

When nosy Duchess Wigtower unexpectedly drops by Princess Magnolia’s castle, Magnolia must protect her secret identity from the duchess’s prying. But then Magnolia’s monster alarm, a glitter-stone ring, goes off. She must save the day, leaving the duchess unattended in her castle. After a costume change, the Princess in Black joins her steed, Blacky (public identity: Frimplepants the unicorn), to protect Duff the goat boy and his goats from a shaggy, blue, goat-eating monster. When the monster refuses to see reason, Magnolia fights him, using special moves like the “Sparkle Slam” and the “Twinkle Twinkle Little Smash.” The rounded, cartoony illustrations featuring chubby characters keep the fight sequence soft and comical. Watching the fight, Duff notices suspicious similarities between the Princess in Black and Magnolia—quickly dismissed as “a silly idea”—much like the duchess’s dismissal of some discovered black stockings as being simply dirty, as “princesses don’t wear black.” The gently ironic text will amuse readers (including adults reading the book aloud). The large print and illustrations expand the book to a longish-yet-manageable length, giving newly independent readers a sense of accomplishment. The ending hints at another hero, the Goat Avenger.

Action, clever humor, delightful illustrations and expectation-defying secret identities—when does the next one come out? (Fantasy. 5-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 14, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6510-4

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: July 29, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more