BooksForKidsBlog

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Heavy Metal? TIN by Chris Judge


TIN'S MOM ASKED HIM TO LOOK AFTER HIS LITTLE SISTER, NICKEL FOR THE AFTERNOON.

"NO PROBLEM." HE SAYS.

Expecting easy duty, big brother Tin sends little Nickel off to play on the backyard gym, and leans back against a tree to enjoy his new comic book without another thought.

But while big brother Tin is lost in his story, Sis is setting out on an adventure of her own. Spotting a red helium balloon caught in the top of their tree, she begins a potentially accident-prone ascent. Luckily, somebody is being a better babysitter than Tin!

WOOF! WOOF!

Their dog Zinc's warning bark rouses Tin. He clambers up the tree to rescue Nickel, just as she grabs the string of the balloon. The balloon floats free, with Nickel hanging on for dear life.

Tin jumps on his bike, pedaling at top speed as he follows the balloon as it is blown from the suburbs toward the city. Soon Nickel is dangling over downtown, high above the skyscrapers. Tin climbs up to the tallest tower and manages to get a tenuous hold on the string. Weighted down, their balloon sags lower.

But as the breeze blows the two past a parade and over Safari Park, the balloon finally breaks, and Tin and Nickel fall down, down, down, luckily landing on an elephant and a giraffe, respectively, just as the two animals split off to head toward their own quarters. Hanging onto the giraffe's neck, little Nickel is having the time of her life, but her big brother is NOT! How can he find his sister and get her back into their backyard before Mom notices they're gone? In Chris Judge's Tin (Andersen Press Picture Books) (Andersen Press, 2014), there's no back story on the metallic robotic characters, but this plot-driven tale is quite an adventure for this unusual brother-and-sister pair. Judge's illustrations provide the visual appeal, with his tin-man-type people and his surrealistic geometric Big City of blocky buildings add interest to this unusual story. "...a delightfully detailed futuristic society depicted in geometric shapes and strong ultrabright hues with the appeal of a tiny-tot video game, text and illustrations work in harmony, with each element enhancing the other. Just plain fun," observes Kirkus Reviews.

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