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From the Adventures of Grandmasaurus series

Readers with embarrassingly rambunctious relatives of their own will moo-roar in sympathy.

A chaperone who turns into a dinosaur when she sneezes really complicates a class trip for two young museum visitors.

The unnamed narrator may hope for “no funny business” from her grandma—but hardly have they arrived than a “silver sparkle of museum dust” sets off an extended sneezing fit that sends the narrator and companion Moonie haring off after a small speedster they identify as an eoraptor. Telling the demure dino that she can’t run in the museum only makes her sneeze again, turning her into a car-sized zuniceratops. Then an ankylosaurus, and on through 11 more transformations…including a pterodactyl that guide-toting Moonie points out isn’t actually a true dinosaur. One final blast brings “regular Grandma” back at last, just in time to board the school bus. O’Toole fills in the backgrounds sparsely, and readers may find themselves wondering exactly what kind of museum this is. Still, neither Grandma nor any of the fairly diverse lot of other visitors and staff look even slightly bothered by all the hubbub, which adds an extra layer of jollity to the views of outsized dinosaurs invading galleries, trying to cut the line at the cafeteria, or bellowing a “moo-roar” (“Where’s your indoor voice? You can’t yell in a museum!”) in the main hall. A dino-key at the end supplies names and a few facts for all 14 iterations of Grandma. Grandma and the narrator present White, and Moonie has brown skin and dark hair. 

Readers with embarrassingly rambunctious relatives of their own will moo-roar in sympathy. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-988761-46-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Common Deer Press

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

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From the Diary of an Ice Princess series

A jam-packed opener sure to satisfy lovers of the princess genre.

Ice princess Lina must navigate family and school in this early chapter read.

The family picnic is today. This is not a typical gathering, since Lina’s maternal relatives are a royal family of Windtamers who have power over the weather and live in castles floating on clouds. Lina herself is mixed race, with black hair and a tan complexion like her Asian-presenting mother’s; her Groundling father appears to be a white human. While making a grand entrance at the castle of her grandfather, the North Wind, she fails to successfully ride a gust of wind and crashes in front of her entire family. This prompts her stern grandfather to ask that Lina move in with him so he can teach her to control her powers. Desperate to avoid this, Lina and her friend Claudia, who is black, get Lina accepted at the Hilltop Science and Arts Academy. Lina’s parents allow her to go as long as she does lessons with grandpa on Saturdays. However, fitting in at a Groundling school is rough, especially when your powers start freak winter storms! With the story unfurling in diary format, bright-pink–highlighted grayscale illustrations help move the plot along. There are slight gaps in the storytelling and the pacing is occasionally uneven, but Lina is full of spunk and promotes self-acceptance.

A jam-packed opener sure to satisfy lovers of the princess genre. (Fantasy. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 25, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-35393-8

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 26, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

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From the The Kingdom of Wrenly series , Vol. 1

A gentle adventure that sets the stage for future quests.

A lonely prince gains a friend for a quest to find a missing jewel.

Prince Lucas of Wrenly has everything a boy could possibly want—except a friend. His father has forbidden him to play with the village children for reasons of propriety. Adventure-seeking Lucas acquires peasant clothes to masquerade as a commoner and make friends, but he is caught out. His mother, the queen, persuades the king to allow him one friend: Clara, the daughter of her personal dressmaker. When the queen’s prized emerald pendant goes missing, Lucas and Clara set off to find it. They follow the jewel as it changes hands, interviewing each temporary owner. Their adventure cleverly introduces the series’ world and peoples, taking the children to the fairy island of Primlox, the trolls’ home of Burth, the wizard island of Hobsgrove and finally Mermaid’s Cove. By befriending the mermaids, Lucas and Clara finally recover the jewel. In thanks, the king gives Clara a horse of her own so that she may ride with Lucas on their future adventures. The third-person narration is generally unobtrusive, allowing the characters to take center stage. The charming, medieval-flavored illustrations set the fairy-tale scene and take up enough page space that new and reluctant readers won’t be overwhelmed by text.

 A gentle adventure that sets the stage for future quests. (Fantasy. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-9691-0

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Feb. 11, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2014

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