Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyIf Around the World in 80 Days were fused with Dr. Dolittle's ability to talk to the animals, the results might be this book. Great-Uncle Lancelot lands his balloon ship in the Dollybutt children's yard and offers to take them along with him while he searches the world over for his brother Perceval. Emma and her twin brothers, Conrad and Ivan, gladly join the search; Lancelot sprinkles powder on them so that they can communicate with animals and therefore learn something from the journey. Despite Percy's colorful illustrations, the book presents a rather unsuccessful blend of fact and fantasy, and some youngsters may have trouble distinguishing one from the other. And the precious tone of the text may lose all but the most determined readers. Ages 7-10. (June)
School Library JournalGr 3-5-- An old-fashioned book both in concept and execution. The characters, including the gruff but kindly uncle; mischievous twin boys; and a blonde, blue-eyed serious sister, are all stereotypes. The plot--a journey in a fantastic balloon house to search for a lost relative, which leads to landings on all the continents and the subsequent sighting and discussion of the animal life found there--is predictable at best. The aim of this work is commendable--to acquaint children with animals and animal facts through the use of fantasy--but there are so many outstanding nonfiction works on animals that this outmoded format is unnecessary. The copious full-color illustrations are adequate but lack warmth, and the entire work leaves readers wishing for more humor and imagination, as well as good intentions. --Eva Elisabeth Von Ancken, Trinity Pawling School, N.Y.
- House of Stratus, Incorporated
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