The Adventures of Sparrowboy

Brian Pinkney, Author, J. Brian Pinkney, Author, Brian Pinkney, Illustrator Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing $16 (40p) ISBN 978-0-689-81071-8
Though sobering front-page headlines worry a young paperboy, the comics--especially a strip called Falconman--lift him up. Quite literally, in fact. After Henry peruses a Falconman strip in which a magical falcon converts a police trooper into a superman by lending him the power to fly, the boy's bike collides with a similarly gifted sparrow. Suddenly airborne, the boy delivers his newspapers in flight while saving innocent neighbors from a menacing bully and his growling pooch. For the course of Henry's transformation, the book adopts a comic-strip format, accenting the boxed, action-filled pictures with brief, punchy text and a chorus of sound effects like ""CHIRP!"", ""WHOOSH!"" and ""THONK!"" In a final, satisfying coup, Henry comes to the rescue of the benevolent sparrow, vulnerable because it has temporarily relinquished its powers of flight to Henry, a development that readers will delight in discovering before the boy does. The plot unravels chiefly through Pinkney's (Max Found Two Sticks; see I Smell Honey, reviewed above) airy, motion-filled art, expertly rendered in scratchboard, transparent dyes and gouaches in creamy colors never before seen in a comic book. Clever quips and asides add humor and playful melodrama. Pinkney clearly had a blast creating this soaring story, and his high spirits are transferable to the reader--ZAP! Ages 4-9. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/31/1997
Release date: 04/01/1997
Paperback - 40 pages - 978-0-689-83534-6
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-606-19246-0
Prebound-Glued - 40 pages - 978-0-613-28396-0
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