Entertaining reading for the newest generation of detectives.

KING & KAYLA AND THE CASE OF THE UNHAPPY NEIGHBOR

From the King & Kayla series

King and Kayla’s newest adventure involves digging into…mistaken identity!

Many young readers have begun to grasp the unfortunate truth that sometimes you can show up in the wrong place at the wrong time, like Jillian’s puppy, Thor, and be blamed for something you didn’t do. It seems Thor likes to dig and wrecked Mr. Gary’s yard when he got loose, but Thor tells King he did no such thing. When King puts the clues together with Kayla, they realize that Thor would not have eaten all the fruits and vegetables consumed and is not big enough to knock over a trash can. King decides to investigate with all the animals in the neighborhood while, together, Kayla and Jillian create case details. It’s a whodunit mystery that dogs, cats, and owners come together to solve. Meyers invests all her characters with lots of personality, particularly shrewd King and eager Thor; crabby Mr. Gary looks like a terrible pill. (He and Jillian present white; Kayla presents black.) Beginning readers will like the spacious typeset and thought bubbles that clue readers in to King’s thinking. This is a great story to help emerging readers strengthen their comprehension skills, and caregivers can easily discuss what young readers already know and what they are discovering along the way to piece together a final conclusion—that, happily, will clear Thor’s name.

Entertaining reading for the newest generation of detectives. (Early reader. 6-9)

Pub Date: March 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68263-055-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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A hilarious but enlightening guide to the online world—the good, the bad, and the ugly.

BAD KITTY GETS A PHONE (GRAPHIC NOVEL)

A craving for the latest tech leads to cat-astrophe in this new addition to the Bad Kitty series.

With her heart set on owning a cellphone, anthropomorphic house cat Kitty plows through three solid months of chores without complaining before her owners reluctantly grant her fervent wish. Then things go rapidly downhill. She becomes obsessed with violent mobile games, gets catfished (no pun intended), divulges too much personal information online, becomes consumed with rage at cyberbullies, and grows listless from excessive screen time. Only after the intervention of a Sphynx cat named Strange Kitty and a monthlong technology fast enforced by her owners does Kitty come to understand that while smartphones are fun, they can also be a serious distraction from real life and true friends. Using a digestible graphic-novel format, the book tackles internet safety and digital media literacy with purr-fect aplomb. The “Uncle Murray’s Fun Facts” section serves as a deep dive into the differences between facts and opinions, and many of Kitty’s quirky feline behaviors ring true. It’s unfortunate that the word lame—a disability-related term with negative connotations—is used by the internet trolls who deride the video Kitty makes and posts on “ViewTube.” Occasional misstep aside, Kitty’s tribulations provide ample fodder for this instructive and amusing tale.

A hilarious but enlightening guide to the online world—the good, the bad, and the ugly. (Graphic novel. 6-9)

Pub Date: Dec. 28, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-74996-3

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: Nov. 16, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2021

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Readers who (inexplicably) find David Lawrence’s Pickle and Penguin (2004) just too weird may settle in more comfortably...

LOST AND FOUND

A lad finds a penguin on his doorstep and resolutely sets out to return it in this briefly told import. 

Eventually, he ends up rowing it all the way back to Antarctica, braving waves and storms, filling in the time by telling it stories. But then, feeling lonely after he drops his silent charge off, he belatedly realizes that it was probably lonely too, and turns back to find it. Seeing Jeffers’s small, distant figures in wide, simply brushed land- and sea-scapes, young viewers will probably cotton to the penguin’s feelings before the boy himself does—but all’s well that ends well, and the reunited companions are last seen adrift together in the wide blue sea. 

Readers who (inexplicably) find David Lawrence’s Pickle and Penguin (2004) just too weird may settle in more comfortably with this—slightly—less offbeat friendship tale. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-399-24503-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2005

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