When a squirrel is sucked inside a neighbor's vacuum cleaner, Flora Belle Buckman--who is still recovering from her parents' divorce--puts down her favorite comic book (Terrible Things Can Happen to You!) and springs into action. But once she has saved the squirrel--whom she names Ulyssess--Flora soon discovers that the animal has some magical powers. Narrator Sands delivers a charming and lighthearted performance that listeners will love. Sands's ability to create colorful, over-the-top characters is an ideal match for DiCamillo's quirky novel, and the voices she produces here are pitch-perfect. This is a fun-filled audio experience. Ages 10-up. A Candlewick hardcover. (Sept)[Page ]. Copyright 2014 PWxyz LLC
Gr 3-7--Flora starts off her 10th summer by promising her mother that she'll spend more time reading real books, and less time poring over the pages of her favorite superhero comics. But neither she nor her mother could have predicted that her summer would be one long superhero adventure, starring none other than Flora and her new pet squirrel, Ulysses. Ulysses gains super-squirrel strength after being sucked into a vacuum cleaner, and he changes the Buckman family's lives, renewing a sense of hope and optimism in Flora. Fans of the title's print version (Candlewick, 2013) will likely be disappointed by its audio adaptation. The novel features a number of fun cartoons, and does not translate well without the accompanying artwork, which plays a significant role in telling the story. While reader Tara Sands makes a valid attempt to differentiate male and female characters, she does not quite pull it off. The men in the novel come off sounding hokey and exaggerated. While DiCamillo's work shines on paper, the excessive use of dialogue tags, and absence of corresponding artwork, make this novel a poor choice as a read aloud.--Jennifer Furuyama, Pendleton Public Library, OR[Page 52]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.