New readers will be “HAPPY-HAPPY-HAPPY” to see this promising new series.

HUMPHREY'S REALLY WHEELY RACING DAY

From the Humphrey's Tiny Tales series , Vol. 1

Humphrey, the classroom hamster, is back, this time in a new series for chapter-book readers.

Newly-independent readers are in for a treat with these stories of Humphrey’s adventures on the weekends. Each Friday afternoon, the suspense builds for the little hamster hero as he finds out where his temporary home will be. In this first outing, Humphrey goes home with Mandy (nicknamed Don’t-Complain-Mandy-Payne) and makes friends with her pet hamster, Winky. Winky has a hamster car, propelled by a plastic hamster wheel, and Humphrey is impressed. He loves his own little ball, but it’s not nearly as fabulous as Winky’s car. When Mrs. Brisbane buys a car for Humphrey, the class decides to have a race day—Winky versus Humphrey, and Og, the class frog, versus George, the frog from another class. In the second story (publishing simultaneously), Humphrey’s Playful Puppy Problem, Humphrey goes home with Richie, who plans to use Humphrey in his science experiment. Humphrey has to fend off a too-loving puppy called Poppy and fix the experiment when the pup’s exuberance proves to be too much for it. Birney has created the kind of series that first- and second-grade readers will love. It’s set in school, the vocabulary is accessible, the font and spacing are generous, and the frequent illustrations tie the story together.

New readers will be “HAPPY-HAPPY-HAPPY” to see this promising new series. (Animal fantasy. 5-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-399-25201-3

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: June 10, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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Readers who (inexplicably) find David Lawrence’s Pickle and Penguin (2004) just too weird may settle in more comfortably...

LOST AND FOUND

A lad finds a penguin on his doorstep and resolutely sets out to return it in this briefly told import. 

Eventually, he ends up rowing it all the way back to Antarctica, braving waves and storms, filling in the time by telling it stories. But then, feeling lonely after he drops his silent charge off, he belatedly realizes that it was probably lonely too, and turns back to find it. Seeing Jeffers’s small, distant figures in wide, simply brushed land- and sea-scapes, young viewers will probably cotton to the penguin’s feelings before the boy himself does—but all’s well that ends well, and the reunited companions are last seen adrift together in the wide blue sea. 

Readers who (inexplicably) find David Lawrence’s Pickle and Penguin (2004) just too weird may settle in more comfortably with this—slightly—less offbeat friendship tale. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-399-24503-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2005

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PUG BLASTS OFF

From the Diary of a Pug series , Vol. 1

A cuddly, squishy pug’s puggy-wuggy diary.

Equipped with both #pugunicorn and #pughotdog outfits, pug Baron von Bubbles (aka Bub) is the kind of dog that always dresses to impress. Bub also makes lots of memorable faces, such as the “Hey, you’re not the boss of me!” expression aimed at Duchess, the snooty pink house cat. Some of Bub’s favorite things include skateboarding, a favorite teddy, and eating peanut butter. Bub also loves Bella, who adopted Bub from a fair—it was “love at first sniff.” Together, Bub and Bella do a lot of arts and crafts. Their latest project: entering Bella’s school’s inventor challenge by making a super-duper awesome rocket. But, when the pesky neighborhood squirrel, Nutz, makes off with Bub’s bear, Bub accidentally ruins their project. How will they win the contest? More importantly, how will Bella ever forgive him? May’s cutesy, full-color cartoon art sets the tone for this pug-tastic romp for the new-to–chapter-books crowd. Emojilike faces accentuate Bub’s already expressive character design. Bub’s infectious first-person narration pushes the silly factor off the charts. In addition to creating the look and feel of a diary, the lined paper helps readers follow the eight-chapter story. Most pages have fewer than five sentences, often broken into smaller sections. Additional text appears in color-coded speech bubbles. Bella presents white.

Totes adorbs. (Fiction. 5-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-53003-2

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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