THINGS WILL NEVER BE THE SAME

Another in the utterly engaging series in which dePaola recounts his own childhood; this one ends on a somewhat darker note. Tomie (whose teachers still insist on calling him Tommy) seems to recall, in pitch-perfect language and tone, just what it was like to be the kid he was. He begins his story in January 1941 with an entry in his new diary and the joys of riding his new Junior Flexible Flyer down a steep hill in his Connecticut town. He tells one of his mother’s sledding stories, too; recounts Easter at Nana Fall-River’s (and the horrors of car sickness); and being a pirate in the dance recital. When he starts second grade, he is thrilled to have a real art teacher, who understands that real artists don’t copy, and they need to use all the colors in the box. Tomie ends on a sober note, however, on Sunday, December 7, 1941, when the adults hear on the news that Japan has attacked Pearl Harbor, and that war has come. His wonderful black-and-white drawings illuminate the text, and there are pages from his diary (with illustrations of their own) included. This child cherished his life—even the scary parts, like the presence of polio or the giant Ferris wheel—and young readers will find enormous resonance with their own experiences across the decades of time. (Chapter book. 7-10)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2003

ISBN: 0-399-23982-0

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2003

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Good-hearted fun—great for fans of Kit Feeny and Babymouse.

MEET THE BIGFEET

From the Yeti Files series , Vol. 1

It’s a Bigfeet family reunion!

Everyone’s favorite frosty, furry cryptid, the yeti, actually has a name: Blizz Richards. From his supersecret HQ in Nepal he keeps in touch with his fellow cryptids, all of whom have sworn an oath to keep themselves hidden. That’s not always easy, especially when there are cryptozoologists, like the nasty (but bumbling) George Vanquist, who are always trying to expose the secretive creatures. Vanquist got a picture of Blizz’s cousin Brian near his home in British Columbia, causing the mortified Brian to disappear entirely. When Blizz receives an invitation to a Bigfeet family reunion in Canada, he calls his buddies Alexander (one of Santa’s elves), Gunthar (a goblin) and Frank the Arctic fox to help him get ready. When they arrive in Canada, Brian is still nowhere to be seen. Can Blizz and his skunk ape and other sasquatch cousins find Brian, have the reunion and evade Vanquist? If anyone can, the Bigfeet clan can. Illustrator Sherry’s first volume in the Yeti Files is a fast and funny graphic-prose tale full of labeled pictures and comic-style panels. Those just starting chapter books may have some trouble with a few big words, but they’ll enjoy the big friendly monsters and immediately ask for the next tale—which looks to be about the Loch Ness monster.

Good-hearted fun—great for fans of Kit Feeny and Babymouse. (Graphic/fantasy hybrid. 7-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 30, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-545-55617-0

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 28, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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STANLEY, FLAT AGAIN!

Flattened once more, this time not by a falling bulletin board but a double blow to his elusive “Osteal Balance Point”—or so says family GP Dr. Dan—Stanley Lambchop gets two more chances to play the hero before popping back into shape. First he becomes a human spinnaker in a sailboat race, then he worms his way through the wreckage of a collapsed building to rescue ever-rude classmate Emma Weeks. Alluding to previous episodes, Stanley complains, “Why me? Why am I always getting flat, or invisible, or something?” Mr. Lambchop replies, “But things often happen without there seeming to be a reason, and then something else happens, and suddenly the first thing seems to have had a purpose after all.” Perhaps—even if that purpose is just to tread water, as Brown does here. Still, with its cartoon illustrations, well-leaded text and general goofiness, this retread is as likely to draw transitional readers as the perennial favorite Flat Stanley (1964) and its sequels. (Fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: March 1, 2003

ISBN: 0-06-009551-2

Page Count: 96

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2003

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