Saturday, October 07, 2006

Weekend Reviews (1)

In rounding up the early weekend reviews, one book is on everybody's mind--Peter Pan in Scarlet, by Geraldine McCaughrean.

Kate Kellaway reviews Geraldine McCaughrean's Peter Pan in Scarlet for the Observer. It's a mixed review and these sentences seem to sum up Kellaway's impressions best: "Perhaps the most satisfactory side effect of this brilliant failure of a book is that it sends one curiously back to the original (the one safe way of returning to Neverland) and it is then that one sees exactly what is awry and why any sequel is a doomed enterprise. It is JM Barrie's strangeness that makes Peter Pan the book it is. "

Peter Pan in Scarlet is the Times' "Children's Book of the Week." Nicolette Jones writes of the new title, "Making copious use of arresting metaphor (“They ran until their lungs hung inside them like dead bats in a cave”), she [McCaughrean] is funny, creative, clever, nostalgic and sound about mothers. A delight."

Not reviews, but related: Susan Mansfield talks to Geraldine McCaughrean for The Scotsman and Terry Kirby considers the dangers of writing a sequel to a famous work for the Independent.

Moving on from Peter Pan:

Amanda Craig reviews Halloween books for the Times. Books considered include:
  • Valerie Thomas and Korky Paul's Winnie's Midnight Dragon ("The irresistibly lugubrious wit prepares children for the Addams Family, James Thurber, Edward Gorey, Ronald Searle and the vein of mock Gothic that Anglo-American humour delights in. ")
  • Ghosts!, by Richard Brassey ("Inside are tales about how to keep ghosts away, spooky sounds, famous hauntings and more unusual ones...")

Kari Wergeland considers "Books for Young Readers" for The Seattle Times. Graphic novels are the order of the day, including Flotsam, by David Wiesner, and To Dance: A Ballerina's Graphic Novel, by Siena Cherson Siegel and illustrated by Mark Siegel.

Susan Perren reviews new children's books for the Globe and Mail. Books reviewed include:

  • Boo and Baa Have Company, by Lena and Olof Landström, translated by Joan Sandin (three and four year olds "will delight in watching this pair's hapless adventures")
  • A Distinguished Old Bentley Drove Down to the Sea, by Lisa Rae, illustrated by Peter Pickersgill (a "sparkling, rhyming tale")
  • Mwâkwa Talks to the Loon: A Cree Story for Children, by Dale Auger ("The Cree language is part of the story here -- many nouns appear in both English and Cree -- as is the Cree way of life. And Dale Auger's artwork is stunningly beautiful.")
  • It's NOT the Stork: A Book about Girls, Boys, Babies, Bodies, Families and Friends, by Robie H. Harris, illustrated by Michael Emberley (a "fine introduction to the birds and bees, one well-laced with humorous illustrations and diagrams")
  • To Dance: A Ballerina's Graphic Novel, by Siena Cherson Siegel, illustrated by Mark Siegel ("Comic strips they may be, but the memoir's captivating watercolour and ink drawings carry Siegel's affecting story forward with élan.")
  • Rex Zero and the End of the World, by Tim Wynne-Jones ("a delightful novel with arresting characters")