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From the Adventures of Grandmasaurus series

Light on specifics—but as a visit to a marine-animal–rescue facility, nothing to sneeze at.

Grandma gets up to her “funny business” once again on a class outing.

Just as in the previous The Adventures of Grandmasaurus (2020), a sparkle of special dust sets Grandma, the class chaperone on the field trip to the aquarium, to sneezing, and each blast transforms her into a different prehistoric creature. This time, in line with the locale, the creatures are big marine reptiles or fish—all syllabically identified, from “Sho-ni-saur-us” to “Meg-a-lo-don,” and drawn in the cartoon illustrations with reasonable accuracy…aside from their large glasses, twinkly eyes, and distinctive curls of blue hair anyway. Human Grandma and her frantic granddaughter, who serves as narrator, present as White, but the rest of the class and their task-oriented teacher, Ms. Priya (“Observe and learn, my dear leaders of tomorrow”), are representatively diverse of hair, skin, body type, and mobility. As the class troops past big aquaria and sandy outdoor pens, cautionary notes about leaving live coral and turtle eggs alone and even disposing of litter properly swim alongside quick overviews of what aquatic rescue centers are for. A closing gallery of the 11 creatures Grandma becomes before her final restorative sneeze provides both a recap and a few more basic facts about each.

Light on specifics—but as a visit to a marine-animal–rescue facility, nothing to sneeze at. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 7, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-988761-58-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Common Deer Press

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2021

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A retro-futuristic romp, literally and figuratively screwy.

Robo-parents Diode and Lugnut present daughter Cathode with a new little brother—who requires, unfortunately, some assembly.

Arriving in pieces from some mechanistic version of Ikea, little Flange turns out to be a cute but complicated tyke who immediately falls apart…and then rockets uncontrollably about the room after an overconfident uncle tinkers with his basic design. As a squad of helpline techies and bevies of neighbors bearing sludge cake and like treats roll in, the cluttered and increasingly crowded scene deteriorates into madcap chaos—until at last Cath, with help from Roomba-like robodog Sprocket, stages an intervention by whisking the hapless new arrival off to a backyard workshop for a proper assembly and software update. “You’re such a good big sister!” warbles her frazzled mom. Wiesner’s robots display his characteristic clean lines and even hues but endearingly look like vaguely anthropomorphic piles of random jet-engine parts and old vacuum cleaners loosely connected by joints of armored cable. They roll hither and thither through neatly squared-off panels and pages in infectiously comical dismay. Even the end’s domestic tranquility lasts only until Cathode spots the little box buried in the bigger one’s packing material: “TWINS!” (This book was reviewed digitally with 9-by-22-inch double-page spreads viewed at 52% of actual size.)

A retro-futuristic romp, literally and figuratively screwy. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-544-98731-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: June 2, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2020

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Cuándo quieras un perro feliz, look no further.

A young Latine boy finally gets to rescue the dog of his dreams, but training can be a challenge in two languages.

Like many children, José has been dreaming of having a pet of his own, specifically un perro, a dog. Like any good owner, José promptly begins training his new canine companion but soon realizes his rescue mutt, Feliz, knows only words in English. This is a problem because in José’s home everyone speaks both Spanish and English. José and Feliz must rise to the challenge; fortunately, treats and snuggles are great motivators. The narrative uses Spanish words and phrases throughout (“perros blancos,” “¡Yo quiero este!” “¡Sientate!”), usually with English context clues for understanding. This is complex vocabulary for an early reader, and the shifting in phonics from English to Spanish will be challenging for true beginners; the book is best suited for intermediate to advanced readers in dual-language classrooms or homes. Much like Feliz, however, it is sure to find a loving (and bilingual) home. Cheerful illustrations complement the text, helping readers make sense of the narrative. While José and his mother are darker-skinned, his father and sister are lighter-skinned. (This review has been updated for accuracy.)

Cuándo quieras un perro feliz, look no further. (glossary of Spanish-English words) (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: April 25, 2023

ISBN: 978-0-593-52116-8

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: Jan. 11, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2023

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