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From the Kondo & Kezumi series , Vol. 3

A consistently clever and charming series.

Seafaring best friends experience new adventures both whimsical and thought-provoking.

Following Kondo & Kezumi Reach Bell Bottom (2021), this third series outing sees the titular pals deciding to take one last detour on their way back to their home island. At Tiny Island, they happen upon Lilliputian inhabitants known as the Teenies. Seeing what looks like beach debris and thinking they can help clean it up, Kondo and Kezumi begin to tidy it until they come to a shocking dual realization: Their help is a hindrance, and their large stature is terrifying the diminutive islanders. Once they arrive back at their native isle, something looks amiss: Their home is dripping with slime, and an unwelcome guest is creeping about. Circling back around to their time on Tiny Island, they suss out their feelings about judgments, perception, and giving the unfamiliar a chance; could what seems scary be a new opportunity? Goodner and Tsurumi’s latest installment offers a true visual feast, from the large, brightly rendered illustrations and imaginative worldbuilding all the way down to smaller details, such as the tiny lanterns that house each page number. Imbued with an easy-to-understand moral (it reads like a grandchild of the Berenstain Bears without all the hokiness), Goodner’s tale manages to steer clear of any mawkishness, bringing its narrative satisfyingly full circle. As Kondo and Kezumi resolve this adventure, more are promised for those who may be eagerly anticipating more fun.

A consistently clever and charming series. (Graphic fantasy. 7-10)

Pub Date: April 6, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-7595-5472-6

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: March 1, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

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It’s hard to argue with success, but guides that actually do the math will be more useful to budding capitalists.

How to raise money for a coveted poster: put your friends to work!

John, founder of the FUBU fashion line and a Shark Tank venture capitalist, offers a self-referential blueprint for financial success. Having only half of the $10 he needs for a Minka J poster, Daymond forks over $1 to buy a plain T-shirt, paints a picture of the pop star on it, sells it for $5, and uses all of his cash to buy nine more shirts. Then he recruits three friends to decorate them with his design and help sell them for an unspecified amount (from a conveniently free and empty street-fair booth) until they’re gone. The enterprising entrepreneur reimburses himself for the shirts and splits the remaining proceeds, which leaves him with enough for that poster as well as a “brand-new business book,” while his friends express other fiscal strategies: saving their share, spending it all on new art supplies, or donating part and buying a (math) book with the rest. (In a closing summation, the author also suggests investing in stocks, bonds, or cryptocurrency.) Though Miles cranks up the visual energy in her sparsely detailed illustrations by incorporating bright colors and lots of greenbacks, the actual advice feels a bit vague. Daymond is Black; most of the cast are people of color. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

It’s hard to argue with success, but guides that actually do the math will be more useful to budding capitalists. (Picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: March 21, 2023

ISBN: 978-0-593-56727-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Dec. 13, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2023

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From the Horrible Harry series , Vol. 37

A fitting farewell, still funny, acute, and positive in its view of human nature even in its 37th episode.

A long-running series reaches its closing chapters.

Having, as Kline notes in her warm valedictory acknowledgements, taken 30 years to get through second and third grade, Harry Spooger is overdue to move on—but not just into fourth grade, it turns out, as his family is moving to another town as soon as the school year ends. The news leaves his best friend, narrator “Dougo,” devastated…particularly as Harry doesn’t seem all that fussed about it. With series fans in mind, the author takes Harry through a sort of last-day-of-school farewell tour. From his desk he pulls a burned hot dog and other items that featured in past episodes, says goodbye to Song Lee and other classmates, and even (for the first time ever) leads Doug and readers into his house and memento-strewn room for further reminiscing. Of course, Harry isn’t as blasé about the move as he pretends, and eyes aren’t exactly dry when he departs. But hardly is he out of sight before Doug is meeting Mohammad, a new neighbor from Syria who (along with further diversifying a cast that began as mostly white but has become increasingly multiethnic over the years) will also be starting fourth grade at summer’s end, and planning a written account of his “horrible” buddy’s exploits. Finished illustrations not seen.

A fitting farewell, still funny, acute, and positive in its view of human nature even in its 37th episode. (Fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: Nov. 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-451-47963-1

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Sept. 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2018

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