MARY MARGARET MEETS HER MATCH

What’s endearing about Mary Margaret, MacLean’s effervescent but obstreperous heroine, is that she knows how she’s supposed to be behaving, but just can’t control herself well enough to pull it off. In this, the third installment of the series, Mary Margaret travels with her family to the Lazy K dude ranch, where she’s certain that she’ll be an ace trail rider within days. Her match comes in the person of Kansas, a prickly young stable hand that Mary Margaret immediately takes to and wants to befriend. But although Mary Margaret pulls out all the stops, her efforts backfire, so much so that it seems like Kansas hates her. Nor is Mary Margaret able to control Terco, her assigned mount, well enough to be allowed out of the kiddie corral. It’s a frustrating situation MacLean milks it for all it’s worth, generating laughs, suspense, poignancy and a pointed life lesson as Mary Margaret’s patience is stretched to the snapping point. A delightful ride and one that is sure to make young cowgirls cheer. (Fiction. 7-11)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2007

ISBN: 0-525-47775-6

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2007

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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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We challenge anyone to read this and keep a straight face.

THE BAD GUYS

From the Bad Guys series , Vol. 1

Four misunderstood villains endeavor to turn over a new leaf…or a new rap sheet in Blabey's frenzied romp.

As readers open the first page of this early chapter book, Mr. Wolf is right there to greet them, bemoaning his reputation. "Just because I've got BIG POINTY TEETH and RAZOR-SHARP CLAWS and I occasionally like to dress up like an OLD LADY, that doesn't mean… / … I'm a BAD GUY." To prove this very fact, Mr. Wolf enlists three equally slandered friends into the Good Guys Club: Mr. Snake (aka the Chicken Swallower), Mr. Piranha (aka the Butt Biter), and Mr. Shark (aka Jaws). After some convincing from Mr. Wolf, the foursome sets off determined to un-smirch their names (and reluctantly curbing their appetites). Although these predators find that not everyone is ready to be at the receiving end of their helpful efforts, they use all their Bad Guy know-how to manage a few hilarious good deeds. Blabey has hit the proverbial nail on the head, kissed it full on the mouth, and handed it a stick of Acme dynamite. With illustrations that startle in their manic comedy and deadpan direct address and with a narrative that follows four endearingly sardonic characters trying to push past (sometimes successfully) their fear-causing natures, this book instantly joins the classic ranks of Captain Underpants and The Stinky Cheese Man.

We challenge anyone to read this and keep a straight face. (Fiction. 7-11)

Pub Date: Jan. 3, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-545-91240-2

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2016

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