THE ADVENTURES OF THOR THE THUNDER GOD

Billing Thor as the Vikings’ favorite god, because he was “the biggest, strongest and bravest,” a veteran talespinner smoothly retells five of his better-known exploits, from feeding a poor family on two goats that magically reconstitute themselves in the morning to getting his stolen hammer back by impersonating the goddess Freya. He comes across as a blustery but compassionate sort here, ever ready to defend the gods against trolls and Jotun (giants)—though his own mother was a giant—and to forgive even the pranks of his Jotun foster brother Loki. In Madsen’s big, luminous digital paintings, the Jotun and dwarves—beetle-browed, bull-necked and scowling—look particularly thuggish next to the handsome, graceful residents of Asgard. As in the tales themselves, the tone is more comic than violent. Though the stories are easy to find elsewhere (Bruce Coville’s rendition of Thor’s Wedding Day (2005), illustrated by Matthew Cogswell, is particularly uproarious), all together they make an engaging gateway to the many larger collections of Norse myths, and are equally suited to reading alone or aloud. (source and reading lists, glossary, pronunciation guide) (Folktales. 9-11)

Pub Date: June 18, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-618-47301-4

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2007

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CINDERELLA

PLB 0-7358-1052-4 Cinderella (32 pp.; $15.95, PLB $15.88; Apr.; 0-7358-1051-6, PLB 0-7358-1052-4): Perrault’s ancient tale of Cinderella has been slimmed and toned down considerably, with her virtues less evident and the supporting cast less effective. Readers will wonder why Cinderella’s father, who is not conveniently dead in this story, doesn’t rally to her aid, but they will be otherwise enchanted by Koopmans’s delicate illustrations. One good French touch comes at dinner; the prince is so besotted that “even when the most delicious dishes were served for supper, he could not eat a morsel.” (Picture book/folklore. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-7358-1051-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: NorthSouth

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1999

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All those hundreds of witnesses and researchers can’t be wrong, can they? (Nonfiction. 9-11)

IN SEARCH OF SASQUATCH

AN EXERCISE IN ZOOLOGICAL EVIDENCE

A true believer presents the evidence.

Expanding on a partial chapter in her outstanding Tales of the Cryptids (2006), Halls makes her case by tallying Native American legends, the many footprints and reported sightings (a map of the latter claims hundreds from every state except Hawaii), the famous Patterson-Gimlin film, the recorded “Sierra Sounds” and other circumstantial evidence. She also interviews scientists and Sasquatch hunters, includes an account of early searches for Tibet’s Yeti, adds the transcript of a panicky 911 call and even covers some proven hoaxes. She maintains a believer's voice, gently challenging refuseniks: "Serious Sasquatch hunters are as skeptical as unbelievers. They are not out to collect great stories. They are out to put together facts. Proof. The difference is, they are willing to keep an open mind." Illustrated with photos, drawings and archival images aplenty and closing with generous lists of print, Web and video resources this is about as convincing as it gets—considering the continuing absence of any incontrovertible physical proof—and should give young cryptid hunters a good hairy leg up on investigations of their own.

All those hundreds of witnesses and researchers can’t be wrong, can they? (Nonfiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-547-25761-7

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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