SEARCHING FOR OLIVER K. WOODMAN

That intrepid hitchhiking doll is back—and gone, as his repeat trek from South Carolina to California goes terribly awry, and Tameka enlists the help of Paige Hall, an investigative reporter, to track him down. With the help of Tameka’s Uncle Ray, Paige sets a new wooden figure, Ms. Imogene Poplar, P.I., to tail him. The caper’s format follows very closely in the pattern set in the first outing, featuring letters and postcards sent back and forth between Tameka and Paige, and updates from characters Imogene encounters on the road as she is borne along on Oliver’s trail from Rock Hill to Alaska. (How Oliver ends up in Alaska instead of California is revealed in a sequence that unfolds on the title and copyright pages.) Cepeda’s signature oils-over-acrylic illustrations fairly fizz with energy and good humor, sliding occasional glimpses of Oliver into the backgrounds as Imogene pursues him across the great American landscape. Pattison’s epistolary text does yeomanly work, giving each of Imogene’s helpers a distinctive character and developing a romance subplot between Paige and Uncle Ray. As with its predecessor, understatement and ambiguity are everything; Oliver’s fans will happily embrace both. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-15-205184-8

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2005

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No surprises here.

DUCKSCARES

THE NIGHTMARE FORMULA

From the Disney's Spooky Zone series

The famous Disney duck triplets, Huey, Dewey, and Louie, travel to Berlin and uncover a sinister plot.

Huey, Dewey, and Louie are living with their uncle Donald in Duckburg when they’re appointed International Student ambassadors by the National Association of Studious and Talented Youth. This gives them the opportunity to become exchange students and live in several countries for two-month stints in each. First on the list: Germany. The triplets arrive in Berlin, and a rather transparent mystery reveals itself when a schoolmate starts behaving strangely after being gifted a soccer ball by the mysterious Dr. Z. The light mocking of German culture (cuisine and names in particular) is in poor taste. Dewey, being the middle brother and feeling left out, narrates, but the other brothers chime in regularly. Unfortunately, the varying fonts used for each brother aren’t easily distinguishable and may lead to confusion for readers. Additionally, seemingly arbitrary words are set in boldface, and more than halfway through the book, speech bubbles begin to appear—questionable design choices that may also perplex. Ferrari’s spot art is featured on nearly every page and should help attract reluctant readers. The triplets are easily recognizable, and all characters are very expressive. There’s not much here that won’t be obvious to astute readers, but it may draw in fans of the TV show DuckTales. Oh, and this one isn’t for arachnophobes!

No surprises here. (Adventure. 5-8)

Pub Date: May 4, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4197-5077-9

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2021

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This funny, endearing addition to the series will delight early readers, especially dog lovers.

KING & KAYLA AND THE CASE OF THE LOST TOOTH

From the King & Kayla series

King and Kayla, the detective duo, are back to solve the mystery of Kayla’s missing tooth.

King, the happy and hilarious golden retriever narrator, anxiously awaits the return of his human, Kayla, who’s been at school for “eleventy seven hours. Maybe even eleventy seven days.” When Kayla finally arrives home, she has big news: She’s lost a tooth! Kayla is excited to use her class’s tooth-fairy pillow that night, but, alas, her tooth is missing! Though King discovers the pillow smells like turkey sandwiches (his favorite food), just like Kayla’s teeth, her tooth is nowhere to be found. The pair checks the car, the last place Kayla saw the tooth, and King finds lots of crumbs (more of his favorite foods) but no tooth. And so it goes, and Kayla must go to bed with an empty pillow. In the morning, Kayla finds a dollar, a dog treat, and a note from the tooth fairy even though her tooth wasn’t there. But when King notices the pillow still smells like turkey sandwiches, he’s found the final clue. Each page includes illustrations that are often humorous and highlight the affection between King and Kayla, who is depicted with brown skin and Afro-textured hair.

This funny, endearing addition to the series will delight early readers, especially dog lovers. (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-56145-880-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

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