“Yo! Bozo boy!” It’s another hilarious collection of palindromic cartoons from the master of them all. Agee (Potch & Polly, p. 811, etc.) serves up such zany fare as “Kafka’s Restaurant”—“Wonton?” asks a customer; “Not now,” replies a black turtlenecked-waiter—and “The Artist”—who tries a number of configurations for a piece of pipe: “Tie it. / Tip it. / Put it up,” only to discover commercial futility: “Want it?” “Naw.” If some palindromes seem familiar from earlier efforts, others are truly inspired in their complete and joyful irrelevance: “A dog, a pan, a pagoda”—who else would have thought to put them together? Most cartoons take the form of four-panel strips that march across the landscape-oriented double-page spreads; where single-page cartoons exist, they are typically paired with others of similar ilk (“A car, a man, a maraca” appears opposite the pan in which sits the dog and the pagoda). Page turn after wacky page turn results in the inevitable speculation as to the type of fevered brain that might produce these fancies; an author’s note modestly claims only half of the 170 palindromes contained herein, and gracious credit is given to the creators and inspiration for the others. But there is a darker side to the fun: a cartoon hints at the possible strain suffered by those cursed with aibohphobia (an unusual fear of palindromes)—a wide-eyed man lies in bed, trapped in the infinite repetitions of “Six is a six is a six. . . .” Good at least for several minutes of chuckles, these spirited cartoons may inspire readers young and old to find linguistic and artistic opportunity in gnu dung. (Picture book/nonfiction. 10+)

Pub Date: Oct. 24, 2002

ISBN: 0-374-35730-7

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2002

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The inevitable go-to for Percy’s legions of fans who want the stories behind his stories.


Percy Jackson takes a break from adventuring to serve up the Greek gods like flapjacks at a church breakfast.

Percy is on form as he debriefs readers concerning Chaos, Gaea, Ouranos and Pontus, Dionysus, Ariadne and Persephone, all in his dude’s patter: “He’d forgotten how beautiful Gaea could be when she wasn’t all yelling up in his face.” Here they are, all 12 Olympians, plus many various offspring and associates: the gold standard of dysfunctional families, whom Percy plays like a lute, sometimes lyrically, sometimes with a more sardonic air. Percy’s gift, which is no great secret, is to breathe new life into the gods. Closest attention is paid to the Olympians, but Riordan has a sure touch when it comes to fitting much into a small space—as does Rocco’s artwork, which smokes and writhes on the page as if hit by lightning—so readers will also meet Makaria, “goddess of blessed peaceful deaths,” and the Theban Teiresias, who accidentally sees Athena bathing. She blinds him but also gives him the ability to understand the language of birds. The atmosphere crackles and then dissolves, again and again: “He could even send the Furies after living people if they committed a truly horrific crime—like killing a family member, desecrating a temple, or singing Journey songs on karaoke night.”

The inevitable go-to for Percy’s legions of fans who want the stories behind his stories. (Mythology. 10-14)

Pub Date: Aug. 19, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-8364-8

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2014

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From the Maggie Brooklyn Mysteries series

In this series debut, Maggie Sinclair tracks down a dognapper and solves a mystery about the noises in the walls of her Brooklyn brownstone apartment building. The 12-year-old heroine, who shares a middle name—Brooklyn—with her twin brother, Finn, is juggling two dogwalking jobs she’s keeping secret from her parents, and somehow she attracts the ire of the dogs’ former walker. Maggie tells her story in the first person—she’s self-possessed and likable, even when her clueless brother invites her ex–best friend, now something of an enemy, to their shared 12th birthday party. Maggie’s attention to details helps her to figure out why dogs seem to be disappearing and why there seem to be mice in the walls of her building, though astute readers will pick up on the solution to at least one mystery before Maggie solves it. There’s a brief nod to Nancy Drew, but the real tensions in this contemporary preteen story are more about friendship and boy crushes than skullduggery. Still, the setting is appealing, and Maggie is a smart and competent heroine whose personal life is just as interesting as—if not more than—her detective work. (Mystery. 10-13)



Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2010

ISBN: 967-1-59990-525-9

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2010

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