When budgets or problems aren’t quite right for the likes of Spider-Man or the Dark Knight, here’s a reasonably priced...

THE SUPERHEROES EMPLOYMENT AGENCY

From Blunder Woman to Stuporman, this gallery of underemployed B-list superheroes is up for any task.

Got rats and mice? Call on the (inch-high) Verminator! Supernatural foes will flee from the garlic foam wielded by Muffy the Vampire Sprayer. Afflicted by gangsters? “When racketeers insist on quiet / and it’s not wise to start a riot, / send the Baby, send the Baby.” Furthermore, “And if those cries don’t make them hyper, / Weapon Two is in the diaper.” Along with having distinct individual powers and abilities, several of these eager job seekers combine to offer enhanced services. Armored Sir Knightly and The Masked Man, both aging veterans, can team up to entertain at children’s parties, for instance, and Kelly (ejected from the Green Lantern Corps for wearing a heterodox shade of green) will join silk-spinner Caterpillar to design stylish new costumes for “Trendy Defenders.” Using a free range of page designs from sequential panels to full-spread scenes, Jones reflects both the changing rhythms and the overall buoyancy of Singer’s rhymes with simply drawn, brightly colored cartoon views of each S.E.A. member in action.

When budgets or problems aren’t quite right for the likes of Spider-Man or the Dark Knight, here’s a reasonably priced alternative. (Picture book/poetry. 7-9)

Pub Date: July 24, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-547-43559-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: April 11, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2012

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OTHER GOOSE

RE-NURSERIED AND RE-RHYMED CHILDREN'S CLASSICS

“Little boy blue / come blow your tuba. / The sheep are in Venice, / and the cow’s in Aruba.” Pairing frenetic and garishly colored art to familiar rhymes in “more modern, more fresh, and well…more Goosian” versions, Seibold stakes out Stinky Cheese Man territory to introduce “Jack and Jill / and a pickle named Bill,” the Old Woman Who Lived in a Sneaker (“She had a great big stereo speaker”), Peter Pumpkin Pickle Pepper and about two dozen more “re-nurseried” figures. Against patterned or spray-painted backgrounds, an entire page of umbrella-carrying raindrops float down, a bunch of mice run up (“the clock struck one; / the rest had fun”), cats fiddle for Old King Coal and others, Jack B. Nimble makes a lifelong career out of demonstrating his one trick and a closing rendition of the counting rhyme “One, Two, I Lost My Shoe” is transformed into a clever reprise as many of the characters return to take final bows. Sparkles on the cover; chuckles (despite some lame rhyming) throughout. (Fractured nursery rhymes. 7-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-8118-6882-2

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2010

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An uplifting feline tale with bumpy rhymes; well suited for families looking for Nativity stories.

JORDAN, THE CHRISTMAS KITTEN

A kitten dreams of being part of the original Christmas story in this rhyming picture book.

A kitten named Jordan lives with his brothers, sisters, and aunt in a small town in a valley. As Christmas Eve approaches, the kittens have hung their mittens, hoping for gifts from Santa Claws. Jordan can’t sleep, wondering about the best present he’ll get, but when he finally dozes off, he dreams of being present at the birth of Jesus. Snuggling with the Christ child, Jordan watches others give gifts and worries that he has nothing to contribute until Mary assures him: “Your gift was your purr, / Your adornment for my babe, / and the warmth of your fur.” When Jordan wakes, he realizes that the best gift isn’t a thing; it’s a small kindness given out of love. This sweet message is likely to appeal to young churchgoers who celebrate the religious parts of Christmas. The small, uncredited, traditional illustrations feature friendly-looking felines done in a childlike style. The diverse humans are shown as shapes rather than detailed figures, much like the pieces in a Nativity scene. Terrell’s rhyme scheme changes regularly, with the patterns varying in the different stanzas, which can make the scansion hard to follow. The accessible vocabulary, with only a few difficult words (crocheted, sublime), makes the poetry accessible to independent readers, especially those already familiar with the Christmas story.

An uplifting feline tale with bumpy rhymes; well suited for families looking for Nativity stories.

Pub Date: Nov. 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-973690-82-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Westbow Press

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2021

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