Old friends and new will hope this highly successful sequel will not be the last starring this inventive, original child.

DORY AND THE REAL TRUE FRIEND

From the Dory Fantasmagory series , Vol. 2

Who will be 6-year-old Dory’s friend at school if she doesn’t take Mary the monster with her?

Dory’s older siblings have plenty of advice for the new school year: “Do NOT use your imagination!” her sister warns her. “DON’T BE YOURSELF.” Remembering the problems Mary caused the year before, Dory determines to start school without the imaginary friend who behaved so badly. Indeed, right away she meets a girl with a poufy dress and two missing front teeth, surely a potential friend. But how can Dory play with Rosabelle when the hopscotch girls drag her away at recess? Luckily, monster Mary gives better advice than her older sister does. Dory reverts to her imaginative self, and by the end of the week, she’s gained a real true friend whose imagination matches her own. Dory’s first-person account is punctuated by childlike black-and-white drawings, mirroring the action described and sometimes extending the story. Those who were introduced to Dory’s appealing fantasy world in Dory Fantasmagory (2014) will be pleased at the return of her fairy godmother, Mr. Nuggy, only temporarily transformed into a chicken by the witch Mrs. Gobble Gracker. The humor and familiar school setting will invite new fans.

Old friends and new will hope this highly successful sequel will not be the last starring this inventive, original child. (Fiction. 6-9)

Pub Date: July 7, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-525-42866-4

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: April 1, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2015

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An uncomplicated opener, with some funny bits and a clear but not heavy agenda.

BOOKMARKS ARE PEOPLE TOO!

From the Here's Hank series , Vol. 1

Hank Zipzer, poster boy for dyslexic middle graders everywhere, stars in a new prequel series highlighting second-grade trials and triumphs.

Hank’s hopes of playing Aqua Fly, a comic-book character, in the upcoming class play founder when, despite plenty of coaching and preparation, he freezes up during tryouts. He is not particularly comforted when his sympathetic teacher adds a nonspeaking role as a bookmark to the play just for him. Following the pattern laid down in his previous appearances as an older child, he gets plenty of help and support from understanding friends (including Ashley Wong, a new apartment-house neighbor). He even manages to turn lemons into lemonade with a quick bit of improv when Nick “the Tick” McKelty, the sneering classmate who took his preferred role, blanks on his lines during the performance. As the aforementioned bully not only chokes in the clutch and gets a demeaning nickname, but is fat, boastful and eats like a pig, the authors’ sensitivity is rather one-sided. Still, Hank has a winning way of bouncing back from adversity, and like the frequent black-and-white line-and-wash drawings, the typeface is designed with easy legibility in mind.

An uncomplicated opener, with some funny bits and a clear but not heavy agenda. (Fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: Feb. 14, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-448-48239-2

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: Dec. 11, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

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Fans both young and formerly young will be pleased—100 percent.

HORTON AND THE KWUGGERBUG AND MORE LOST STORIES

Published in magazines, never seen since / Now resurrected for pleasure intense / Versified episodes numbering four / Featuring Marco, and Horton and more!

All of the entries in this follow-up to The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories (2011) involve a certain amount of sharp dealing. Horton carries a Kwuggerbug through crocodile-infested waters and up a steep mountain because “a deal is a deal”—and then is cheated out of his promised share of delicious Beezlenuts. Officer Pat heads off escalating, imagined disasters on Mulberry Street by clubbing a pesky gnat. Marco (originally met on that same Mulberry Street) concocts a baroque excuse for being late to school. In the closer, a smooth-talking Grinch (not the green sort) sells a gullible Hoobub a piece of string. In a lively introduction, uber-fan Charles D. Cohen (The Seuss, The Whole Seuss, and Nothing but the Seuss, 2002) provides publishing histories, places characters and settings in Seussian context, and offers insights into, for instance, the origin of “Grinch.” Along with predictably engaging wordplay—“He climbed. He grew dizzy. His ankles grew numb. / But he climbed and he climbed and he clum and he clum”—each tale features bright, crisply reproduced renditions of its original illustrations. Except for “The Hoobub and the Grinch,” which has been jammed into a single spread, the verses and pictures are laid out in spacious, visually appealing ways.

Fans both young and formerly young will be pleased—100 percent. (Picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 9, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-385-38298-4

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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