URSULA VERNON is a freelance illustrator, artist, and, in her words, a creator of weird thingies. Nurk is her first book for young readers. She lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Gr 3-6-In Ursula Vernon's animal fantasy (Harcourt, 2008), Nurk longs to be like his brave grandmother shrew, Surka, who had many adventures. However, he doesn't feel brave enough to leave his small island. His life is forever changed when he receives and opens a letter intended for his grandmother. Not knowing where his grandmother is, he sets out to return the letter to the sender. He makes a boat out of a snail shell and sets out on an adventure where he meets creatures like dragonflies, carp, and the scary Grizzlemole. Nurk decides to help the dragonfly who sent the letter and learns that maybe he is brave like his grandmother. Despite making new friends, he still believes the best place to be is safe at home. Nurk is a likable hero, and the tale is light-hearted and humorous. The full-cast narration gives each character a unique personality. The narrator, Bill Knowlton, does an excellent job of presenting the suspenseful moments. An excellent, entertaining listen for classroom use.-Sarah Flood, Breckinridge County Public Library, Hardinsburg, KY Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.