The illustrated-diary shelves are full; fans should look on them for an alternative to this one.

READ REVIEW

MY LIFE AS LOTTA

A HOUSE FULL OF RABBITS

From the My Life as Lotta series , Vol. 1

Illustrated diary entries detail Lotta’s comical quest for the perfect pet in this translation of a German bestseller.

Lotta’s first year as a fifth grader at Wilt Whatman Middle School gets off to a rocky start thanks to her aptly named teacher, Mrs. Crabbert, and her continuing petless state. Whether they’re selling a box of bunnies on the curb, making funny animal videos, or trying in vain to get rid of Lotta’s malicious, magical recorder, Lotta and her best friend, Cheyenne, are experts at turning even the most innocuous situations into full-blown fiascos. Written in dated diary entries, Lotta’s first-person narrative relies heavily on humor, often gross and usually at the expense of others. The cartoonishly exaggerated interstitial illustrations depict a cast that’s all white as paper. Speech bubbles, sequential panels, and labeled illustrations are attractive. Unfortunately, the layout combined with the liberal use of display type and a convoluted plot make for a book that’s difficult to follow. There are also a few concerning moments, one an illustration depicting “Indian” chickpeas wearing turbans and another discussing a man in patched-up clothes who rants at the kids before abruptly leaving. Both point to a lack of empathy for different people and cultures.

The illustrated-diary shelves are full; fans should look on them for an alternative to this one. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4549-3624-4

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

With Ivan’s movie out this year from Disney, expect great interest—it will be richly rewarded.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

THE ONE AND ONLY BOB

Tiny, sassy Bob the dog, friend of The One and Only Ivan (2012), returns to tell his tale.

Wisecracking Bob, who is a little bit Chihuahua among other things, now lives with his girl, Julia, and her parents. Happily, her father works at Wildworld Zoological Park and Sanctuary, the zoo where Bob’s two best friends, Ivan the gorilla and Ruby the elephant, live, so Bob gets to visit and catch up with them regularly. Due to an early betrayal, Bob doesn’t trust humans (most humans are good only for their thumbs); he fears he’s going soft living with Julia, and he’s certain he is a Bad Dog—as in “not a good representative of my species.” On a visit to the zoo with a storm threatening, Bob accidentally falls into the gorilla enclosure just as a tornado strikes. So that’s what it’s like to fly. In the storm’s aftermath, Bob proves to everyone (and finally himself) that there is a big heart in that tiny chest…and a brave one too. With this companion, Applegate picks up where her Newbery Medal winner left off, and fans will be overjoyed to ride along in the head of lovable, self-deprecating Bob on his storm-tossed adventure. His wry doggy observations and attitude are pitch perfect (augmented by the canine glossary and Castelao’s picture dictionary of dog postures found in the frontmatter). Gorilla Ivan described Julia as having straight, black hair in the previous title, and Castelao's illustrations in that volume showed her as pale-skinned. (Finished art not available for review.)

With Ivan’s movie out this year from Disney, expect great interest—it will be richly rewarded. (afterword) (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-299131-7

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: March 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

The three way chats, in which they are joined by other animals, about web spinning, themselves, other humans—are as often...

CHARLOTTE'S WEB

A successful juvenile by the beloved New Yorker writer portrays a farm episode with an imaginative twist that makes a poignant, humorous story of a pig, a spider and a little girl.

Young Fern Arable pleads for the life of runt piglet Wilbur and gets her father to sell him to a neighbor, Mr. Zuckerman. Daily, Fern visits the Zuckermans to sit and muse with Wilbur and with the clever pen spider Charlotte, who befriends him when he is lonely and downcast. At the news of Wilbur's forthcoming slaughter, campaigning Charlotte, to the astonishment of people for miles around, spins words in her web. "Some Pig" comes first. Then "Terrific"—then "Radiant". The last word, when Wilbur is about to win a show prize and Charlotte is about to die from building her egg sac, is "Humble". And as the wonderful Charlotte does die, the sadness is tempered by the promise of more spiders next spring.

The three way chats, in which they are joined by other animals, about web spinning, themselves, other humans—are as often informative as amusing, and the whole tenor of appealing wit and pathos will make fine entertainment for reading aloud, too.

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 1952

ISBN: 978-0-06-026385-0

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1952

Did you like this book?

more