Reviews for Problem Child


Horn Book Guide Reviews 2006 Fall
Snow White, Prince Charming, and all "Everafters" aren't characters in fairy tales; they're alive and kicking--and sometimes nuts: Whacked-out Little Red Riding Hood (she went mental after her run-in with the Big Bad Wolf) is holding eleven-year-old Sabrina's parents captive. At times, the clever folktale/fairy-tale extras disrupt the pacing, but the story raises thought-provoking questions about the consequences of magic. Copyright 2006 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2006 March #2
Poor choreography in the battle scenes drags the latest entry in this otherwise delicious series below par. After a brief but necessary recap, Buckley plunges his two young sleuths into further developments in their search for their snatched parents. These include the appearance of a reckless sorcerer uncle; repeated attacks from a savage Jabberwock ridden by Little Red Riding Hood (here a crazed homicidal maniac in the wake of what the Big Bad Wolf did to her family); and a desperate search for the vorpal blade, which is not just the only way to kill a Jabberwock, but also a key to Faerie. The dialogue ("I'm a fish that talks and you're having trouble with me granting wishes?"), set pieces capped by a nerve-wracking visit to the hut of cannibal and soap-opera addict Baba Yaga and occasional theatrical illustrations from Ferguson are as clever as ever. But the headlong pace too often stumbles over outrageously destructive, lightning-swift attacks that somehow always leave characters time to ruminate, converse or fumble about in pockets for magical defenses. Even confirmed fans will hope for tighter writing in future outings. (Fantasy. 10-12) Copyright Kirkus 2006 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2006 April #1
And speaking of sisters... book three in the Sisters Grimm series, The Problem Child by Michael Buckley, continues the adventures of 11-year-old Sabrina and seven-year-old Daphne, first introduced in The Fairy-Tale Detectives (PW praised the book's "good-natured inanity and eccentric personalities"), descendents of Jacob and Wilhelm. Here they set out to solve the most important mystery of their lives: what happened to their parents more than a year ago? The search for answers leads them to the most famous fairy-tale character of all. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2006 July

Gr 4-6 -Sabrina Grimm, 11, and her 7-year-old sister, Daphne, are still on the trail of "The Scarlet Hand," which has kidnapped their parents. On the way to rescuing them, the sisters meet their likable Uncle Jake, whom they had never heard of before. Granny Relda had arranged for everyone in town to forget him after he inadvertently broke the spell that kept a deranged Little Red Riding Hood in the asylum. The book is loaded with cameos by fairy-tale characters, including Prince Charming as playboy turned sleazy politician. Although they will delight fairy-tale fans, some of the most interesting figures get short shrift. Puck, who combines magic with mischief in a way that both attracts and repels Sabrina, disappears from the action early on. Granny Relda's gentleman friend and every tale's wicked wolf is resurrected only at the end of the novel. Still, there is plenty of plucky Sabrina, nurturing Granny Relda, and Daphne. The end leaves plenty for the next book to resolve. Each chapter starts with a menacing silhouette, and black-and-white full-page illustrations add more macabre details. Recommend this to anyone who is craving a bit of dark humor rolled up with whimsy and adventure.-Tina Zubak, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA

[Page 97]. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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VOYA Reviews 2006 July
The Sisters Grimm are back, still looking for their parents. Sabrina catches the culprit red-handed-and red-caped. Apparently Little Red Riding Hood's encounter with the wolf left her with issues. She and her "kitty," the Jabberwocky, are out to recreate her lost family, and the Grimms' parents are her first choice. The girls discover the only way to stop Little Red and the Jabberwocky is with the aid of a magical sword and the help of the Blue Fairy. The catch is that the sword is in pieces and no one knows the true identity of the Blue Fairy. Sabrina discovers that there is nothing she will not do to get her parents back-even if it means spending the rest of her life as a frog Book Three in the Sisters Grimm series offers nothing new. Buckley still has the annoying tendency to lump characters from classic fiction, myth, and legend together as "fairy tales." It would be more interesting to see the author use characters from lesser-known tales and from other cultures rather than rely on commonly known ones. There is, however, quite a bit of fun to be found. A psychotic Little Red Riding Hood is both hilarious and thought provoking, and the encounter with the Little Mermaid is a wonderful poke at characters in modern animation. The sisters encounter addiction to magic for the first time, and again learn the value of family. Reluctant readers not ready for Harry Potter will enjoy this light read.-Arlene Garcia 3Q 3P J Copyright 2006 Voya Reviews.

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