UrsulaV (ursulav) wrote,

The Onion A/V club reviewed Nurk! Woot!

Not bad at all...

Fans of Ursula Vernon's offbeat comics series Digger should check out
her first children's book, Nurk: The Strange, Surprising Adventures Of
A (Somewhat) Brave Shrew (Harcourt). The title doesn't quite tell it
all—it leaves out the uniquely Vernon-esque bizarreries, like the
talking- salmon tree—but it sums up most of the story, in which a
determined but fearful shrew sets out downriver in a caulked snail
shell to answer a vague distress call sent by mail. The story, spaced
out with periodic (though never enough) black-and-white Vernon
drawings, echoes The Wind In The Willows a bit in its playful tone and
its sense of a larger animal world that in some ways is much like the
human one, and in other ways is strictly bound to beastly instincts
and fur, claws, and wings.

Throughout, Nurk the shrew is informed and supported by the weirdo
diary of a famous forebear, whose own whacko adventures underline
Nurk's initially mundane troubles with wet socks and uncooperative
tree branches. Vernon's appealingly strange muse still finds its best
expression in her gorgeous color paintings rather than in her more
cut-and-dried prose and monochromatic sketches, but Nurk remains an
enjoyably loopy, brilliantly creative kids' book full of fun narrative
surprises… B+
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