Appropriately for the audience, this charmer invokes the man's spirit rather than his biography, effectively communicating...

HIT THE ROAD, JACK

What could have been straight nonfiction takes on a fanciful air when Jack Kerouac is rendered more jack rabbit than man.

In an effort to make the life of Jack comprehensible to elementary-age children, Burleigh’s rhyming text does double duty as both biographical ode to a great writer and paean to the country he loved. “Hey, Jack! Skedaddle! Gotta hop! / Vamoose! Take off and go! / Nose is itching, ears are twitching, / Come on! Get with the flow!” Feeling the urge to travel, Jack sets off from New York City to the countryside, seeing people, enjoying the road and heading westward all the while. With a ubiquitous blue jay companion, this Jack is a swell sport fully capable of fueling readers' desires to see the world as well. Only sometimes does the book’s internal logic go awry, as when the bunnified beat passes the very human heads of Mount Rushmore. While Burleigh sells Jack’s wayward spirit, MacDonald works to capture 1950s America to a tee. And though these bunny characters seem to be human from the neck down, readers will not fault the artist this child-friendly touch.

Appropriately for the audience, this charmer invokes the man's spirit rather than his biography, effectively communicating the excitement of the road he held so dear. (author's note) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4197-0399-7

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: May 2, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2012

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A culturally intricate slice of a lupine courier’s life.

¡VAMOS! LET'S GO TO THE MARKET

From the ¡Vamos! series

Little Lobo and his dog, Bernabé, journey through a Mexican mercado delivering diverse goods to a variety of booths.

With the aid of red words splattered throughout the spreads as labels, Raúl the Third gives an introduction to Spanish vocabulary as Little Lobo, an anthropomorphic wolf, leaves his house, fills his cart with objects from his warehouse, and delivers them to the market’s vendors. The journey also serves as a crash course in Mexican culture, as the images are packed with intertextual details such as food, traditional games, and characters, including Cantinflas, Frida Khalo, and Juan Gabriel. Readers acquainted with Raúl the Third’s characters from his Lowriders series with author Cathy Camper will appreciate cameos from familiar characters. As he makes his rounds, Little Lobo also collects different artifacts that people offer in exchange for his deliveries of shoe polish, clothespins, wood, tissue paper, paintbrushes, and a pair of golden laces. Although Raúl the Third departs from the ball-pen illustrations that he is known for, his depiction of creatures and critters peppering the borderland where his stories are set remains in his trademark style. The softer hues in the illustrations (chosen by colorist Bay) keep the busy compositions friendly, and the halftone patterns filling the illustrations create foregrounds and backgrounds reminiscent of Roy Lichtenstein’s pointillism.

A culturally intricate slice of a lupine courier’s life. (glossary) (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-55726-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Versify/HMH

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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This story covers the few days preceding the much-anticipated Midnight Zombie Walk, when Stink and company will take to the...

STINK AND THE MIDNIGHT ZOMBIE WALK

From the Stink series

An all-zombie-all-the-time zombiefest, featuring a bunch of grade-school kids, including protagonist Stink and his happy comrades.

This story covers the few days preceding the much-anticipated Midnight Zombie Walk, when Stink and company will take to the streets in the time-honored stiff-armed, stiff-legged fashion. McDonald signals her intent on page one: “Stink and Webster were playing Attack of the Knitting Needle Zombies when Fred Zombie’s eye fell off and rolled across the floor.” The farce is as broad as the Atlantic, with enough spookiness just below the surface to provide the all-important shivers. Accompanied by Reynolds’ drawings—dozens of scene-setting gems with good, creepy living dead—McDonald shapes chapters around zombie motifs: making zombie costumes, eating zombie fare at school, reading zombie books each other to reach the one-million-minutes-of-reading challenge. When the zombie walk happens, it delivers solid zombie awfulness. McDonald’s feel-good tone is deeply encouraging for readers to get up and do this for themselves because it looks like so much darned fun, while the sub-message—that reading grows “strong hearts and minds,” as well as teeth and bones—is enough of a vital interest to the story line to be taken at face value.

Pub Date: March 13, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7636-5692-8

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2012

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