More Anna Hibiscus stories are certainly most welcome! (Fiction. 5-9)

WELCOME HOME, ANNA HIBISCUS

From the Anna Hibiscus series , Vol. 5

As the title indicates, Anna Hibiscus returns home to Africa from her visit with her Canadian family.

All eight volumes of the Anna Hibiscus chapter-book series are now available. Although each story stands alone, readers who approach them in order will have a rich experience indeed, and in fact for this volume it may be preferable. The first chapter of this fifth volume recaps her trip to Canada (Have Fun, Anna Hibiscus!, 2011). It is only from context clues that readers learn that Anna has a Canadian grandmother as well as her African family. Transitioning readers unfamiliar with the earlier books and not alert to reading clues may find it confusing. Tiger Lily, a friend Anna met in Canada who is biracial, just like Anna herself, appears in the third chapter with almost no introduction. Snow White, Anna’s pet chicken, is hatched in the second chapter and becomes increasingly important in later volumes; here, she causes trouble by making messes while Anna is in school. Despite the African setting, these are sweet domestic stories North American readers will easily understand. Anna’s adventures and worries are small, recognizable, and happily resolved. This simplicity ensures success for new readers. The repetitive vocabulary (adults are repeatedly “cross, very cross” at Snow White’s antics) and simple sentence structure carry readers through the relatively lengthy chapters. Tobia’s expressive pencil drawings provide additional context and break up the text.

More Anna Hibiscus stories are certainly most welcome! (Fiction. 5-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-61067-678-6

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Kane Miller

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more