"A clever . . . way to bring awareness to the very real threats to humanity posed by war, climate change, and capitalism. A compelling and unique dystopian sci-fi picture book for early school age readers, this is recommended for all collections."
—School Library Journal
"A tongue-in-cheek invitation to make some choices about how we’d like to croak."
"The curious protagonist loves learning about Humans and is so curious about what happened to them and this leads to a wonderful bedtime conversation. I love the curiosity this book exhibits as well as the reflection it will cause about our impact on Earth."
"If you are a person who loves dystopian books, this is definitely the book for you! This is an awesome book that talks about why humans might have gone extinct . . . We must take care of our planet and be kind to each other so that humans don’t go extinct!"
—New Mexico Kids, recommended by Sahana P., age 9
"Ten billion years after humans disappeared from Earth, young Plib finds them immensely appealing...Readers will undoubtedly see the parallels with their own dinosaur fandom."
Included in Publishers Weekly's Spring 2021 Children's Sneak Previews
Critical praise for the previous work of Johnny Marciano:
For the Klawde: Evil Alien Warlord Cat series:
"Applaud for Klawde. Two paws up!"—Dav Pilkey, creator of the Dog Man series.
"Funny, savage, and brilliant, Klawde is the pet I wish I had."—Max Brallier, New York Times best-selling author of The Last Kids on Earth.
For The Witches of Benevento series:
"Marciano has delivered a delicious blend of otherworldly adventure, sure to be a hit with young readers . . . A magnificent introduction to fantasy for younger chapter readers" —School Library Journal
"Blackall's delicate, lovely artwork is bewitching and Marciano's text is, as the title implies, loaded with molto mischief. I can't wait to read what the Janara have in store for the Benevento kids next." —Lane Smith, author of Return to Augie Hobble
"Not your run-of-the-mill chapter book. What we have here is a fresh, charming tale about an Italian village afflicted with witches and the brave, quarrelsome band of friends who try to make their acquaintance. A frisky, ingenious introduction to an old world and a new series." —Annie Barrows, author of the Ivy and Bean series
"There is a mystery in Benevento—a mystery of witches and spirits and magic. Will you go back in time to this charming town and solve the mystery? And if you do, will you tell me what the solution is? Really! Please tell me! But watch out for the spirits. They are mischievous indeed . . . The Witches is a charming, intelligent tale, illustrated beautifully and evocatively. —Adam Gidwitz, author of A Tale Dark and Grimm
K-Gr 2—In 10 million years, humanity as we know it will cease to exist, replaced by anamorphic frog-like green beings called Norflbooks. In this new version of Earth, humans are regarded and depicted as a monstrous, uncaring species whose extinction is caused by pollution and conflict. They are, as it turns out in the Norflbook world, speculative legend without redemptive qualities. This is true for all except Plib, a young Norflbook so excited about humans that he even owns stuffed toy humans. A trip to the "Human Exhibit" in the Natural History Museum incites such curiosity that he resolves to find out what happened to the humans by asking his mother. Hoppe's ( Last But Not Least Lola) illustrations are comical, yet also bleakly illuminate the dangers of being unkind to the environment and to one another. The humans on display in the Natural History Museum are exaggerated images of what the Norflbooks think humans looked like, as well as items that have contributed to pollution. It is a clever, if not scary, way to bring awareness to the very real threats to humanity posed by war, climate change, and capitalism. VERDICT A compelling and unique dystopian sci-fi picture book for early school age readers, this is recommended for all collections.—Tamela Chambers, Chicago P.L.
There are different theories.
On a trip to the natural history museum in the year 10,002,021 C.E., young Plib enjoys the exhibit showing how he and his fellow Nøørfbløøks evolved from frogs—but what really floats his lily pad is the exhibit on humans, his favorite kind of extinct creature. That night at bedtime he asks his mom what happened 10 million years ago, and she explains that they either mucked up the planet’s climate, exterminated themselves because they “likedto hate each other,” greedily split into haves and have-nots and stopped taking care of one another…or maybe learned at last to live in harmony until an asteroid hit the Earth and wiped them out. In any case, only scattered evidence of what they were like remains, and Hoppe illustrates this cogent recitation with (pre)historical scenes of trollish, speculatively reconstructed figures sporting fur, feathers, or fins along with hilariously mismatched bits of clothing from various eras, goofy teeth, and skin tones running to blues and purples. Plib likes the harmony-followed-by-asteroid scenario enough to go to sleep with a smile on his bulbous green face. Today’s readers may feel likewise, though even younger ones will leap to the understanding that if we want to make it happen we’d better hop to it.
A tongue-in-cheek invitation to make some choices about how we’d like to croak. (Picture book. 6-8)