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BURT THE BEETLE LIVES HERE!

From the Burt the Beetle series

A wide-ranging survey of insect homes delivered with humor and heart.

Burt checks out all the places other insects can live, but none seems quite right for a June bug.

Can a ten-lined June beetle with sticky arms and a fondness for hugs find a comfy home? Alas, as our hero discovers in this follow-up to Burt the Beetle Doesn’t Bite! (2021), not in the tunnels of yellow meadow ants or in the nests of cathedral termites, not in human houses like stink bugs or in a spittlebug’s shelter (“I made this with my bum! Want a tour?”), nor with bees or wasps or tent caterpillars. Spires sandwiches this informative look at where and in what insects live between cartoonish galleries of real estate–style listings trumpeting a beehive’s “quality craftsmanship,” the “charming layout” of a wasp nest, the “open floor plan” of a flea’s furry backside domicile, and so on, then closes with pages of additional facts about select insect builders. She doesn’t leave her six-legged house hunter unprotected from predators and the elements either, as a simple leaf turns out to be not only excellent shelter for one…but big enough to fit an entire coterie of chance met new friends of diverse species: “GROUP HUG!” “Bring it in, everybody!” Whether a massive network of tunnels or a single leaf, that’s one good way to make a house a home.

A wide-ranging survey of insect homes delivered with humor and heart. (Graphic nonfiction. 6-9)

Pub Date: June 6, 2023

ISBN: 9781525310119

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: March 28, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2023

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DOG MAN

From the Dog Man series , Vol. 1

What a wag.

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What do you get from sewing the head of a smart dog onto the body of a tough police officer? A new superhero from the incorrigible creator of Captain Underpants.

Finding a stack of old Dog Mancomics that got them in trouble back in first grade, George and Harold decide to craft a set of new(ish) adventures with (more or less) improved art and spelling. These begin with an origin tale (“A Hero Is Unleashed”), go on to a fiendish attempt to replace the chief of police with a “Robo Chief” and then a temporarily successful scheme to make everyone stupid by erasing all the words from every book (“Book ’Em, Dog Man”), and finish off with a sort of attempted alien invasion evocatively titled “Weenie Wars: The Franks Awaken.” In each, Dog Man squares off against baddies (including superinventor/archnemesis Petey the cat) and saves the day with a clever notion. With occasional pauses for Flip-O-Rama featurettes, the tales are all framed in brightly colored sequential panels with hand-lettered dialogue (“How do you feel, old friend?” “Ruff!”) and narrative. The figures are studiously diverse, with police officers of both genders on view and George, the chief, and several other members of the supporting cast colored in various shades of brown. Pilkey closes as customary with drawing exercises, plus a promise that the canine crusader will be further unleashed in a sequel.

What a wag. (Graphic fantasy. 7-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-545-58160-8

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 31, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

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ACOUSTIC ROOSTER AND HIS BARNYARD BAND

Having put together a band with renowned cousin Duck Ellington and singer “Bee” Holiday, Rooster’s chances sure look...

Winning actually isn’t everything, as jazz-happy Rooster learns when he goes up against the legendary likes of Mules Davis and Ella Finchgerald at the barnyard talent show.

Having put together a band with renowned cousin Duck Ellington and singer “Bee” Holiday, Rooster’s chances sure look good—particularly after his “ ‘Hen from Ipanema’ [makes] / the barnyard chickies swoon.”—but in the end the competition is just too stiff. No matter: A compliment from cool Mules and the conviction that he still has the world’s best band soon puts the strut back in his stride. Alexander’s versifying isn’t always in tune (“So, he went to see his cousin, / a pianist of great fame…”), and despite his moniker Rooster plays an electric bass in Bower’s canted country scenes. Children are unlikely to get most of the jokes liberally sprinkled through the text, of course, so the adults sharing it with them should be ready to consult the backmatter, which consists of closing notes on jazz’s instruments, history and best-known musicians.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-58536-688-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press

Review Posted Online: July 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2011

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