AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL

A POP-UP BOOK

The wizard of pop-ups has created a masterpiece—in design, in execution, in boldness of vision, and in artistic and historical integrity. In seven openings, he treats the first verse of Katharine Lee Bates’s poem. “For spacious skies” features the Golden Gate Bridge, its span rising above a blue-and-green bay where small boats leave silver traces in the water. “Purple mountain majesties” is Mount Rushmore, every face recognizable; “above the fruited plain” rises Mesa Verde, an incredibly elaborate construction. Sabuda uses foil lavishly, even to the silver ropes on the paddlewheels of the Mississippi steamboat where “God shed His grace.” The work does not end with the final “from sea to shining sea,” with the Statue of Liberty rising in front of the Manhattan skyline, but continues in another four small, set-in pages. By including the rest of the verses on these miniature folios, he gives readers a few more icons: the Twin Towers with the verse “for heroes proved,” the Liberty Bell for “patriot dreams,” the space shuttle for “pilgrim feet,” and the American eagle for the last line of jubilee. Rejoice, and buy multiple copies. (Pop-up book. 4-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 19, 2004

ISBN: 0-689-84744-0

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2004

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Dizzyingly silly.

CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS AND THE TYRANNICAL RETALIATION OF THE TURBO TOILET 2000

From the Captain Underpants series , Vol. 11

The famous superhero returns to fight another villain with all the trademark wit and humor the series is known for.

Despite the title, Captain Underpants is bizarrely absent from most of this adventure. His school-age companions, George and Harold, maintain most of the spotlight. The creative chums fool around with time travel and several wacky inventions before coming upon the evil Turbo Toilet 2000, making its return for vengeance after sitting out a few of the previous books. When the good Captain shows up to save the day, he brings with him dynamic action and wordplay that meet the series’ standards. The Captain Underpants saga maintains its charm even into this, the 11th volume. The epic is filled to the brim with sight gags, toilet humor, flip-o-ramas and anarchic glee. Holding all this nonsense together is the author’s good-natured sense of harmless fun. The humor is never gross or over-the-top, just loud and innocuous. Adults may roll their eyes here and there, but youngsters will eat this up just as quickly as they devoured every other Underpants episode.

Dizzyingly silly. (Humor. 8-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 26, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-545-50490-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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PINK AND SAY

A white youth from Ohio, Sheldon Russell Curtis (Say), and a black youth from Georgia, Pinkus Aylee (Pink), meet as young soldiers with the Union army. Pink finds Say wounded in the leg after a battle and brings him home with him. Pink's mother, Moe Moe Bay, cares for the boys while Say recuperates, feeding and comforting them and banishing the war for a time. Whereas Pink is eager to go back and fight against "the sickness" that is slavery, Say is afraid to return to his unit. But when he sees Moe Moe Bay die at the hands of marauders, he understands the need to return. Pink and Say are captured by Confederate soldiers and brought to the notorious Andersonville prison camp. Say is released months later, ill and undernourished, but Pink is never released, and Polacco reports that he was hanged that very first day because he was black. Polacco (Babushka Baba Yaga, 1993, etc; My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother, above) tells this story, which was passed down for generations in her family (Say was her great-great-grandfather), carefully and without melodrama so that it speaks for itself. The stunning illustrations — reminiscent of the German expressionist Egon Shiele in their use of color and form — are completely heartbreaking. A spectacular achievement. (Nonfiction/Picture book. 4- 8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 1994

ISBN: 0-399-22671-0

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1994

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