________________ CM . . . . Volume XIII Number 13 . . . . February 16, 2007

cover

Directed by Kaspar Snit.

Cary Fagan.
Toronto, ON: Tundra Books, 2007.
156 pp., pbk., $12.99.
ISBN 978-88776-753-1.

Grades 3-7 / Ages 8-12.

Review by Jo-Anne Mary Benson.

*** /4

Reviewed from prepublication copy.

excerpt:

“Excuse me, officer,” Mrs. Leer said. “We have an emergency situation. Here. Kasbard Snoot—”

“Kaspar Snit,” I said

“Yes, yes, Kaspar Snit has kidnapped Solly. He’s holding him captive in Misery Mountain.” Calmly the police officer closed the newspaper. He wiped a streak of mustard off his face. “Let me get this straight," he said. “Somebody is hiding someone in Mount something or other.”

“It’s I.M. Partankiss,” I blurted out, “who makes the television show the Zoomers. Except that he isn’t really I.M. Partankiss. He’s the man who stole all the fountains of Rome. Kaspar Snit.”

 

Young readers who like to get caught up in a story of nonsense will enjoy reading Directed by Kaspar Snit by Cary Fagan. Readers became acquainted with the Blande-Glanski family of Manfred, Daisy, their children, Eleanor and Solly, and the evil villain, Kaspar Snit, in Fagan’s first children’s novel, The Fortress of Kaspar Snit

     In this new title from Fagan, Kaspar Snit returns with another round of wicked deeds. After escaping from prison, Snit re-surfaces as the director of a popular television series, The Zoomers. The Blande family finds it disconcerting that their favourite T.V. show has many similarities to their family’s reality.  Members of the Zoomer family are portrayed as having the capability to fly. Eleanor, a bright child, quickly makes the connection that the director of the television series, Mr. I.M. Partankiss, is none other than Kaspar Snit who is well aware of the Bland family’s secret aerial abilities.   

     Kaspar Snit quickly grabs the reader’s attentions with his attempts to bilk television viewers of a million dollars. Supposedly, the funds are to be given to the people of Verulia to ameliorate the damages of an earthquake. Kaspar Snit plots to steal the money and invest it for his own malevolent ends. After their visit to the studio, an aerial investigation catapults Solly, Eleanor, and their nanny into a series of unexpected events. And so, the adventures begin!

     The story moves at a consistently enjoyable and rewarding pace with plenty of complications to hold a young reader’s attention. Cary Fagan blends deception and adventure that culminate in a cliff-hanger ending.

     The characterizations are particularly good, especially that of Kaspar Snit, the gruff and selfish individual who is so enjoyable to dislike. The author’s depictions and dialogue instil a close association with other characters as well. Solly, who loves to pretend to be a superhero called Googoo-man, is inquisitive and full of fun. Eleven-year-old Eleanor is a little more mature and wants more responsibility and privilege. Marvin Slouch fills the role of lowly minion to Snit, and Mrs. Leer has the commanding presence of an extremely conscientious nanny.

     Directed by Kaspar Snit provides a wonderful and diverting escape for any youngster.  Readers can lose themselves in a fantasy where people fly; amulets possess power, and the world consists of imaginary countries. Fagan also shows the strength of the sibling bonds and the protective choices parents make for their children. While Directed by Kaspar Snit can stand well on its own, it would benefit the reader to first read The Fortress of Kaspar Snit and continue on into this new adventure for double the fun and entertainment. This title is recommended as a possible choice for those that enjoy the fantasy genre.

Recommended.

Jo-Anne Mary Benson is a writer/reviewer for North American magazines, newspapers, and journals.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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