Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Penelope March is Melting

34434535Ruby, Jeffrey Michael. Penelope March is Melting
November 14th 2017 by Delacorte Press
Copy provided by publisher

Penelope lives on a frozen island in an undiscovered part of the sea. It's a grim existence, with turnips being one of the only crops, as well as the source of electricity and fuel for cars. There is one very creepy house in town, supposedly owed by a Mr. Buzzardstock. When Amelia rescues his dog (whom the children all refer to as Wolfknuckle, but whose real name is Henry, she discovers that the man, while eccentric, is misunderstood. He does ice sculpting, and does have a magical connection to the world around Glacier Cove. He is very concerned that an evil creature, Makara Nyx, is trying to muster her forces to destroy the island. Penelope's friend, Coral, has a fortune telling grandmother whose prophecy about Penelope indicates that Nyx might, in fact, be a concern. It's a good thing that Buzzardstock has a plan. Using a submarine staffed with talking penguins, he is determined to save the island and destroy Nyx. Penelope is able to work with Buzzardstock quite a bit, as her father, in the wake of her mother's death, tries to be involved but all too occasionally drowns his sorrows in turnip hooch. How can Nyx's efforts be thwarted, and how can Penelope use her determination to save her friends and family?
Strengths: While this was almost 300 pages long, the story moved quickly and the print was fairly large. Penelope and her brother are sympathetic characters, and Glacier Cove is a different sort of setting. There are lots of quirky names and occurences.
Weaknesses: Could have done without the father's grieving and ineptitude, and the story would have held up without it. For a place that had no contact with the outside world, they had a lot of modern amenities, which confused me a bit.
What I really think: Readers who like Lemony Snicket, David Nielsen, and Hieronymous Bosch, as well as some of Natalie Lloyd's fantasy books will find this an engaging, if chilling read.

From jeffrubymedia.com
"I'm the chief dining critic at Chicago magazine, a marvelous publication for which I have written and edited since 1997.

I also spent 11 years as the magazine's humor columnist, and penned a blog about my wife's various pregnancies. I have written features on food, sports, travel, and celebrities, and earned nine nominations from the City and Regional Magazine Association for best food/dining criticism and best column. Even won once.

I sumo wrestled once in front of 20,000 people in a basketball arena in New Jersey. That, I lost.

My writing has appeared in countless places including Esquire, GQ, Playboy, Time, Newsweek, Men's Journal, and Southwest Airlines magazine. My first children's book, Penelope March is Melting, which New York Times bestselling author Pseudonymous Bosch called "a marvelous and magical debut!" comes out on November 14th, 2017. My 2005 book, Everybody Loves Pizza: The Deep Dish on America’s Favorite Food, was featured on The Food Network, History Channel, NPR, CBS, and, for about two seconds, Oprah.

​ My favorite beer is Guinness. My favorite band is The Replacements. My favorite bald former Harlem Globetrotter who appeared on multiple episodes of Scooby-Doo is Curly Neal.

I'm an Aquarius, a reluctant dog owner, and a laundry hater. I live with my wife, kids, and dog in Chicago."

1 comment:

  1. I was laughing just reading your description of the book. A world of turnips, ice and penguins that run submarines! This sounds like fun.