Readers who take it too seriously might end up like Claude, floating in the middle of the ocean, wearing baggy underpants...



From the Claude series

This early chapter book is often hilarious, but it should not be used as an instruction manual, as Claude the dog is not much of a role model.

No matter what Claude the dog does, if a band of pirates invites them to search for buried treasure, readers should think twice before going with them. Even his sidekick, Sir Bobblysock, thinks this is a dubious proposition. And readers packing for a trip to the beach probably would not want to bring whipped cream, a lampshade or sticky tape. (The tambourine, however, is very useful.) Admittedly, Claude ends up having a terrific time. He saves a man from a shark, collects a hatful of gold and jewels, and looks very stylish with whipped cream on top of his head. But Claude is also the sort of dog who can pull off a beret and a red sweater. (Smith’s pink and gray, retro-modern illustrations are charming.) Most dogs wouldn’t look nearly as good. Readers willing to go with Claude’s flow will enjoy reading this third adventure on the beach or on a hidden desert island, as well as more pedestrian places.

Readers who take it too seriously might end up like Claude, floating in the middle of the ocean, wearing baggy underpants (held together with sticky tape) and pursued by a shark—but they’ll be laughing. (Fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-56145-703-8

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2014

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This is rather a silly story, and I don't believe children will think it particularly funny. A paper hanger and painter finds time on his hands in winter, and spends it in reading of arctic exploration. It is all given reality when he receives a present of a penguin, which makes its nest in the refrigerator on cubes of ice, mates with a lonely penguin from the zoo, and produces a family of penguins which help set the Poppers on their feet.

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 1938

ISBN: 978-0-316-05843-8

Page Count: 139

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1938

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A dramatic, educational, authentic whale of a tale.


After a tsunami devastates their habitat in the Salish Sea, a young orca and her brother embark on a remarkable adventure.

Vega’s matriarchal family expects her to become a hunter and wayfinder, with her younger brother, Deneb, protecting and supporting her. Invited to guide her family to their Gathering Place to hunt salmon, Vega’s underwater miscalculations endanger them all, and an embarrassed Vega questions whether she should be a wayfinder. When the baby sister she hoped would become her life companion is stillborn, a distraught Vega carries the baby away to a special resting place, shocking her grieving family. Dispatched to find his missing sister, Deneb locates Vega in the midst of a terrible tsunami. To escape the waters polluted by shattered boats, Vega leads Deneb into unfamiliar open sea. Alone and hungry, the young siblings encounter a spectacular giant whale and travel briefly with shark-hunting orcas. Trusting her instincts and gaining emotional strength from contemplating the vastness of the sky, Vega knows she must lead her brother home and help save her surviving family. In alternating first-person voices, Vega and Deneb tell their harrowing story, engaging young readers while educating them about the marine ecosystem. Realistic black-and-white illustrations enhance the maritime setting.

A dramatic, educational, authentic whale of a tale. (maps, wildlife facts, tribes of the Salish Sea watershed, environmental and geographical information, how to help orcas, author’s note, artist’s note, resources) (Animal fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-299592-6

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: July 1, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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