Confusing Children’s Book of the Day
What is your first reaction to this?
The Antarctic Express by Kenneth Hite.
Confusion, perhaps? I’m with you. Yes, it appears to be a “parody” of Van Allsburg’s classic The Polar Express, but it looks more like a “tryin’ to be a sequel” to me. Would it help if I said this is a retelling of At the Mountains of Madness by H.P. Lovecraft? That’s not helping me. Man, this still isn’t getting any clearer. How about a summary?
Late one evening after the city has gone to sleep, young Danforth boards the mysterious airplane that waits for him: the Antarctic Express bound for the South Pole. When he arrives, Professor Dyer offers the boy the chance to learn any thing he desires. The boy modestly asks to probe the depths of the eldritch city of the Old Ones. The request is granted. On the way his memory is lost while fleeing from the piping shrieks of the shoggoths. On Christmas Eve, the boy finds his memory of that whistling cry returns. For you see, all who visit the Old Ones’ city forever hear the sound of the shoggoths.
Hmm. Still not making sense. Alright – I think I’ll just call this the anti-stocking stuffer of ’09 and leave it at that.
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About Travis Jonker
Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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