Reviews for Humphrey, Albert, and the Flying Machine


Booklist Reviews 2004 October #1
Gr. 1-3. Reluctantly attending the sure-to-be-boring birthday party of Princess Briar Rose, brothers Humphrey and Albert soon yawningly note that the long-rumored prophecy is coming true as everyone at court falls into a deep sleep. The boys awaken 100 years later (but before the other guests) and leave the castle in search of a prince who can end the enchantment with a kiss. Instead they find real-life inventor Daniel Bernoulli, who is attempting to invent a flying machine and manages to fulfill their purpose as well as his own. Though the ending owes little to either history or folklore, it is entirely satisfying anyway. Besides linking the story to that of Sleeping Beauty, the appended author's note provides information about scientist Bernoulli's life and his discovery. Large in scale, comical in characterization, and dramatic in composition, the spirited watercolor, gouache, and pencil artwork will help draw children into this lighthearted blend of fact and fiction that's good for reading aloud. ((Reviewed October 1, 2004)) Copyright 2004 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2005 Spring
Melding science and traditional literature, this fractured fairy tale features Sleeping Beauty and a European scientist from the 1700s, Daniel Bernoulli. With the help of two palace boys, Daniel wakens the princess from her one-hundred-year spell, thus gaining her hand in marriage. Copper-toned watercolor, gouache, and pencil pictures illustrate the uninspired tale. A brief biography of Bernoulli is appended. Copyright 2005 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Library Media Connection Reviews 2005 April
This is a fun Sleeping Beauty story with a twist. Rumors before Briar Rose's birthday foretell the curse, including the hundred-year sleep and the kiss to end it. Humphrey and Albert are part of the sleeping court and wake before anyone else. They set off to find a suitor for the princess. Their ad warns that some kissing will be required, but there are many applicants to interview. Their most worthy candidate is inventor Daniel Bernoulli, who actually lived in Europe in the eighteenth century. Daniel and the boys use his flying machine to go directly to the castle courtyard, bypassing the hedge of thorns. Briar Rose is no fool; after the kiss that wakes her, she falls in love with Daniel on the spot though he's not a handsome prince. Even better-he's a genius! Fun illustrations help tell the story. When everyone else looks horrified at the entrance of the evil fairy, Briar Rose looks ready to take her on if she dares to threaten anyone else. An author's note gives a brief biography of Bernoulli. Recommended. Anne Hanson, Library Media Specialist, Hoover Elementary School, North Mankato, Minnesota © 2005 Linworth Publishing, Inc.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2004 November #1
Favorite fairy tales and songs are featured in new picture books. Science, history and fairy tale unite in Humphrey, Albert, and the Flying Machine by Kathryn Lasky, illus. by John Manders. In this witty riff on "Sleeping Beauty," siblings Humphrey and Albert are reluctant guests at Princess Briar Rose's birthday party. "The boys' prophecy had come true: This was indeed the world's most boring party.... The princess had been cursed, and the entire court had fallen into a deep sleep." But along with inventor Daniel Bernoulli, the brothers save the day. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2004 October
K-Gr 2-Humphrey and Albert, 10 and 8 respectively, do not want to go to Princess Briar Rose's birthday party, fearing it will be-their favorite word-boring. Things look more promising when the evil fairy appears, but then the curse kicks in and they fall asleep for the requisite 100 years. The boys wake up three weeks early, however, and go hunting for a handsome prince to kiss the princess and break the spell. When they hack their way through the nettles surrounding the castle, they encounter the scientist and inventor Daniel Bernoulli, hard at work on a flying machine. With the boys' assistance, he completes the plane, flies over the nettles, and kisses the princess. Although he is not handsome, she imagines his mind, and "in that mind she saw beauty, and in his eyes she saw love." An appended author's note attempts to clear up the confusion created by the text regarding the real Bernoulli and his genuine accomplishments. This is an uncomfortable blend of reality and fantasy that simply doesn't work and will leave children with no clue as to who "this prince of science" was or why he was important. Manders's frenetic watercolor, gouache, and pencil cartoons are comic but rely so heavily on shades of brown that details often blur together. Debbie Dadey's Shooting Star: AnnieOakley (Walker, 1997) and Diane Stanley's Rumpelstiltskin's Daughter (HarperCollins, 1997) offer more satisfying mixes of fact and fancy.-Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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