Sunday, April 27, 2014

Nurk by Ursula Vernon

Nurk: The Strange, Surprising, Adventures of a (Somewhat) Brave Shrew
by Ursula Vernon

Published: Harcourt, Inc.
Format: hardback
Copyright: 2008
Pages: 131
Genre: Fantasy, Children's literature
Source: personal copy

From the cover:  
Nurk is a quiet homebody of a shrew. Until the day a mysterious letter arrives. Suddenly he's involved in a harrowing rescue – the likes of which would intimidate even the biggest and bravest of shrews. 

Alas, Nurk is neither big nor brave – but this spine-tingling, life-threatening adventure might be the best thing that ever happened to him.  

I love Ursula Vernon's stories. She has such a wonderful, mildly snarky sense of humor. Nurk works well as an adventure story for a child (read-aloud time!) but also works on an adult level. This book made me laugh out loud several times. It's a thin little book, so I don't want to give anything away, which makes it a little tricky to review. I would read it again, want to read it to my kids and really wish she had done another story with this character! Five claws for me, simply for making me happy.

Here are a couple of quotes -

"How do I know you're a shrew ? You got any identification?"

Nurk glanced down at himself, baffled. No one had ever questioned whether he was a shrew before. It was generally considered self-evident. "Errr ... what else could I be?" 

  +++       +++      +++  

... the voice was very scary. 

"Stay back!" He cried. "I have - um - socks!" 

There was a pause while the voice considered this threat.

"Dirty or clean?" it asked.

"Clean," Nurk was forced to admit. 

"Then I am afraid that I'm not very scared of your socks," said the voice. "Dirty socks, maybe. Clean socks, however, are just not scary."  

Her artwork is also terrific. She gets such wonderful expressions on her characters. You can see some of her work at 

1 comment:

  1. This does sound like a fun novel and especially for witty kids who would get the silliness of it.


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