If ever there was a god of fun, here he is…no mythtake. .

I AM PAN

The goat-footed god of “noise and confusion” (also herds and herders) offers up giddy versions of his best known pranks and exploits.

Starting from ancient sources but embellishing them considerably, Gerstein sends his irrepressible narrator bounding through cartoon scenes of his own birth to Hermes and an unnamed mother—both golden-haired—and early stay atop Mount Olympus. Quickly wearing out his welcome there, Pan settles in rustic Arcadia, where, in a rare moment of irritation sparked by an ant’s sneeze, he invents “panic” with a bellow that extends in electric colors over three full pages. He then goes on to marry Echo after several false starts, help Zeus settle the monster Typhon, lose a music battle to Apollo, help the Greeks win at Marathon, and fake everyone by announcing his own death. Along with making Typhon female, lining up the retired gods in modern dress for a family photo “somewhere in Greece—or is it Canada?” and other tweaks, the author tucks in the story of how Apollo changed King Midas’ ears to those of a jackass (“a mean trick, but it sure was funny”) and closes with a final frazzling “YEEEAAAHOOOO!” from the hairy trickster in an unidentified city park.

If ever there was a god of fun, here he is…no mythtake. . (afterword, bibliography) (Picture book/mythology. 7-11)

Pub Date: March 8, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62672-035-0

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

It’s not the first time old Ben has paid our times a call, but it’s funny and free-spirited, with an informational load that...

BEN FRANKLIN'S IN MY BATHROOM!

Antics both instructive and embarrassing ensue after a mysterious package left on their doorstep brings a Founding Father into the lives of two modern children.

Summoned somehow by what looks for all the world like an old-time crystal radio set, Ben Franklin turns out to be an amiable sort. He is immediately taken in hand by 7-year-old Olive for a tour of modern wonders—early versions of which many, from electrical appliances in the kitchen to the Illinois town’s public library and fire department, he justly lays claim to inventing. Meanwhile big brother Nolan, 10, tags along, frantic to return him to his own era before either their divorced mom or snoopy classmate Tommy Tuttle sees him. Fleming, author of Ben Franklin’s Almanac (2003) (and also, not uncoincidentally considering the final scene of this outing, Our Eleanor, 2005), mixes history with humor as the great man dispenses aphorisms and reminiscences through diverse misadventures, all of which end well, before vanishing at last. Following a closing, sequel-cueing kicker (see above) she then separates facts from fancies in closing notes, with print and online leads to more of the former. To go with spot illustrations of the evidently all-white cast throughout the narrative, Fearing incorporates change-of-pace sets of sequential panels for Franklin’s biographical and scientific anecdotes. Final illustrations not seen.

It’s not the first time old Ben has paid our times a call, but it’s funny and free-spirited, with an informational load that adds flavor without weight. (Graphic/fantasy hybrid. 9-11)

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-101-93406-7

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A rousing introduction to the life of a voyageur told from a unique perspective.

THE LITTLEST VOYAGEUR

Stowing away with French Canadian fur traders in 1792, a loquacious red squirrel embarks on a life-changing adventure.

Each spring, Jean Pierre Petit Le Rouge, a squirrel with wanderlust, watches brave, strong voyageurs depart in canoes from Montreal and return the following autumn. Determined to be a voyageur, Le Rouge hides in a canoe paddled by eight stout voyageurs, part of a brigade of five. Soon his incessant chattering distracts the voyageurs, who become separated from the rest of the brigade, but, after ascending the highest tree, he points the crew back on course. More than once, pesky Le Rouge barely escapes becoming squirrel ragout. He’s just beginning to feel like a real voyageur when they reach the trading post on Lake Superior, where he discovers the voyageurs exchanging their cargo for animal skins to return to Montreal. Heartsick, Le Rouge decides he cannot be a voyageur if it involves trading animal skins, unless he can change things. Le Rouge relates his story with drama and flair, presenting a colorful prism through which to view the daily life of a voyageur. Peppered with historical facts and (italicized) French phrases and names, this exciting, well-documented tale (with a contemporary animal-rights subtext) proves educational and entertaining. Realistic pencil drawings highlight Le Rouge’s memorable journey.

A rousing introduction to the life of a voyageur told from a unique perspective. (map, pronunciation guide, historical and biological notes, recipe, further reading) (Historical fantasy. 7-10)

Pub Date: March 24, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4247-8

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Margaret Ferguson/Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more