Friday, February 17, 2006

Reviews from the U.K.

Amanda Craig discusses cities of the future in recent children's titles for the Times.

First up is Christopher Wooding's The Storm Theif (not yet published in the U.S.). Craig writes, "Not everybody likes fantasies which combine dizzying imaginative detail with action-adventure, but for kids who find fiction second-best to PlayStation games, Wooding is ideal."

Craig also reviews Jeanne DuPrau's wildly popular The People of Sparks. And, Craig is impressed: "In The City of Ember and The People of Sparks, Jeanne DuPrau has written one of the important fables of our time, addressing both our fear of annihilation and of immigration, and she has done it with captivating grace and style. "

I have not read The City of Ember and The People of Sparks. Comments, anyone? Should they be on my list?

Philip Ardagh reviews Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson's Peter and the Starcatchers for the Guardian.

Ardagh's assesment of Barry and Pearson's style is funny and forgiving. Ardagh finds,
  • When it comes to language, the authors play fast and loose with period and culture, too. We have a "gesundheit" and a "git" in there somewhere. But why should Barry and Pearson worry? It's not their job to satisfy us fuddy-duddies who were brought up on the wonderfully English middle-class diet of being taken to see Peter Pan in the West End every Christmas. They are out to appeal to a different audience. And the book goes to ingenious lengths to explain and establish all aspects of Peter Pan's later world, with which we're familiar. It is also very moving.