JUST GRACE WALKS THE DOG

From the Just Grace series , Vol. 3

Just Grace returns with a new concern: She wants a dog, but her parents say no. To prove she is dependable and responsible enough to care for a real dog, Grace and her best friend Mimi make one of cardboard she can pretend to feed and walk while they investigate what kind of dog would make the best pet. Readers unfamiliar with the first two books are quickly brought up to date with clear explanations of Grace’s school name and the important people in her world, although Grace’s age and grade are not specified in this volume (previous titles identified her as a third grader). The beloved student teacher Mr. Frank has left but Miss Lois (the unfortunate name-giver) offers an interesting new project, journal keeping, and realistic journal entries provide continuity to the story. Grace’s cartoon illustrations and charts enliven the conversational, first-person text. Her ruminations about the ways that people—and animals—may not be what they seem will provide both entertainment and food for thought for a wide range of readers. (Fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: April 21, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-618-95973-0

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2008

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Friends of these pollinators will be best served elsewhere.

1001 BEES

This book is buzzing with trivia.

Follow a swarm of bees as they leave a beekeeper’s apiary in search of a new home. As the scout bees traverse the fields, readers are provided with a potpourri of facts and statements about bees. The information is scattered—much like the scout bees—and as a result, both the nominal plot and informational content are tissue-thin. There are some interesting facts throughout the book, but many pieces of trivia are too, well trivial, to prove useful. For example, as the bees travel, readers learn that “onion flowers are round and fluffy” and “fennel is a plant that is used in cooking.” Other facts are oversimplified and as a result are not accurate. For example, monofloral honey is defined as “made by bees who visit just one kind of flower” with no acknowledgment of the fact that bees may range widely, and swarm activity is described as a springtime event, when it can also occur in summer and early fall. The information in the book, such as species identification and measurement units, is directed toward British readers. The flat, thin-lined artwork does little to enhance the story, but an “I spy” game challenging readers to find a specific bee throughout is amusing.

Friends of these pollinators will be best served elsewhere. (Informational picture book. 8-10)

Pub Date: May 18, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-500-65265-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2021

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MR. POPPER'S PENGUINS

This is rather a silly story, and I don't believe children will think it particularly funny. A paper hanger and painter finds time on his hands in winter, and spends it in reading of arctic exploration. It is all given reality when he receives a present of a penguin, which makes its nest in the refrigerator on cubes of ice, mates with a lonely penguin from the zoo, and produces a family of penguins which help set the Poppers on their feet.

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 1938

ISBN: 978-0-316-05843-8

Page Count: 139

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1938

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