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Publishers Weekly, 1992-11-02 In this well-meaning but lackluster attempt to interest kids in geography, Mr. Quark and his class, a gaggle of robotlike aliens, visit the earth in a flying saucer. They get an overview from afar, and then a tour of all the continents as Mr. Quark spews forth a torrent of traditional geograph-facts: ``The climate is hot near the equator''; ``Europe is still crowded with people.'' Mr. Quark, oddly enough, suffers from cultural bias. He notes the right to vote in the U.S., but focuses in contrast on Africa's wildlife or Mexico's ancient ruins, thus reinforcing outdated cliches. Leedy ( Messages in the Mailbox ) effectively places vividly colored, comic-book-style panels against a dark background, and packs them with information and jokes. Unfortunately, children are more likely to remember these humorous asides than the dry data in Mr. Quark's speech balloons--though the goofy extraterrestrials demonstrate an engaging whimsicality. Despite some superficial similarities to Ms. Frizzle's Magic School Bus, Mr. Quark's flying saucer never totally takes off. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)
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