BooksForKidsBlog

Monday, March 31, 2014

Flying High: Freddie and Gingersnap by Vincent X. Kirsch

TO A LITTLE DINOSAUR LIKE FREDDIE, IT LOOKED AS IF THE OTHER DINOSAURS HAD THEIR HEADS IN THE CLOUDS.

Freddie is obsessed with seeing what is up there in the wild blue yonder. But Freddie is a long-neck, not a pterodactyl, and he hasn't got either patience to wait or the wings for flying.

Gingersnap, a little purple girl dragon, has the wings, but she hasn't gotten the hang of getting off the ground with them yet.

The two meet rather suddenly when Gingersnap tries to launch herself into the wild blue yonder and lands right on Freddy. The two face off, baring their little fangs and twirling their spiny tales, eyeball to eyeball, growling their fiercest little growls.

Then the chase is on!

But what starts as a face-off quickly turns into a fun game, and round and round they go, as they take turns catching each other and wiggling free. But just as Freddie gets a good hold on Gingersnap's tail, the two tumble over a cliff, endng with twin kerplops, into an unfortunately placed brier patch.

There's got to be a better way to play!

The two new friends decide to join forces and work on the flying thing together, and with Freddie's unique encouragement, Gingersnap's flaps finally turn into flight, and they both see what's above those clouds at last, in Vincent Kirsch's Freddie & Gingersnap (Hyperion Press, 2014).

A little green dino and a purple dragonette are improbable pals, but as many childhood friendships do, rivalry turns into teamwork, and a lasting bond is born. Kirsch's energetic artwork eschews the conventionally softly rounded shapes usually assigned to little dinosaurs and young dragons, and their spiky and sinuous bodies give this little story its wryly comic edge. Youngsters will especially enjoy Kirsch's well placed three-page vertical gatefold depicting Gingersnap and Freddie's long fall from the cliff, and by the time Ginger gets it together and flies high with her friend on board, kids will be rooting for this unlikely twosome all the way. "This stylish tale of an unlikely friendship has an infectious rhythm," says School Library Journal.

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