Synopses & Reviews
In one vast
and sparkling city,
everyone can fly.
A few, nicknamed leadfeet, are sentenced by a trick of nature or fate to forever spend their lives closer to the ground. But one night, a girl named Gurl - a leadfoot, an orphan, a nobody - discovers that she can do something much better than fly.
She can become invisible.
This amazing power will help her uncover the secret mysteries of the city. But even with her newfound talent, Gurl can't seem to hide from a giant rat man with a taste for cats, a manipulative matron with a penchant for plastic surgery, and a belligerent boy named Bug.
Gradually Gurl learns to control her power and teams up with Bug to figure out who and what she is. Their quest will take them on a wild ride through this magical city, where they'll confront chatty birds and mind-bending monkeys, an eccentric genius with a head full of grass and a pocket full of kittens, and the handsome but lethal Sweetcheeks Grabowski - the gangster who holds the key to Gurl's past . . . and the world's future.
"InRuby's quirky and compelling fantasy, the standouts are a strange, cat-collecting professor who consults a creepy 'answer hand' that he purchased on eBay, and an orphan called Gurl who can turn invisible, in a futuristic New York City (where people can fly). Raudman, with a velvety, confident voice, does a fine job of characterizing the rest of the oddball group, too, including a gangster named Sweetcheeks Grabowski, a rat man, a monster with a zipper face and an orphan boy named Bug with whom Gurl tries to outrun all the villains who want to exploit her power. Listeners may have some initial difficulty keeping this beefy cast straight. But those who stick with it will be rewarded by a memorable, brisk-moving outing peppered with bits of humor. Ages 11-up. On this hearty collection of original kids' songs, Maine-based Kaye lures listeners with a catchy, predominantly folk-rock sound and then introduces them to a crew of distinctive characters via her story-like lyrics. B.B. Dickinson, for example, is the 'super girl detective!/ Magnifying glass.../ Always in her hand' in the song that bears her name. While the music, skillfully performed by 16 musicians from Kaye's New England neck of the woods, and bright vocals have a globe-spanning sophistication that adults will appreciate, the words here are often great fun. Kaye ably relates the emotions of a child discovering the movements of her shadow or, on the swaying, reggae-esque 'Child' a parent's joyful wishes for 'my beautiful child.' Goofy onomatopoeia reigns on 'The Skeleton Song,' about a bony Halloween concert, and in the calls of 'suey!' on 'Pig Party.' And rarely has a kids' song captured the feelings of boredom and frustration in such an entertaining arrangement as 'Waiting.' Ages 1-8. Largely living up to the promise of its title, this second album from San Francisco musician Charity Kahn and company, offers 13 original, family- friendly and fun-to-dance-to songs. Kahn's clear voice sometimes sounds like artist Jill Sobule, but it has an emotional, yodelly catch, and a sassy confidence all its own. Backed by fine players and vibrant harmonies on some infectious choruses, Kahn delivers an eclectic menu sure to please. 'Towel Tango' features the appropriate beat, lyrical instructions 'slow, slow, quick, quick switch,' and fun sound effects that will have listeners looking for a dance floor partner. Kids join in on the almost tribal call of 'We Need Mud,' replete with strong drumming, and the equally kid-like verses of 'Cake' will have some listeners ready for a snack. For anyone who doubts that the nursery rhyme 'Ring Around the Rosie' has potential as a slightly gritty, jam-worthy rock number, check out the stellar 'Partner Dance.' All ages. Alt-folkie/rocker Rymerreturns with his fourth kids' recording, a musical party worthy of a birthday, or any day when good times are on the agenda. Humor and a positive attitude (but no platitudes!) shine through Rymer's crisp guitar playing and warm, rootsy vocals. To hear Rymer sing it, simply being a kid never sounded so good: he sings about going on a 'Full Moon Walk,' getting tickled on 'Little Sacka Sugar,' being comforted by a 'Mama Hug' and heading off to catch some fish on 'Instead of Watching My TV.' As a bonus that's perfect for an actual birthday party, Rymer includes karaoke versions here, as well as a musical listen-and-match activity. All ages." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)