Next book


In this follow-up to Dirk Bones and the Mystery of the Haunted House (2006), the skeleton reporter/detective is on the trail of a missing book by Frankenstein monster–esque writer Edgar Bleek. While searching for clues, Dirk finds a blue, polka-dot leaf; he finds another in the library, only to have Miss Elsa the librarian tell him that Bleek’s books are also missing from her collection. Dirk’s next stop is the bookstore, but when he crosses the Green Lagoon to get there, a swamp monster named Darlene confirms that she has seen the strange leaves before; she then leaps into the water when their owner, a creature reminiscent of the carnivorous plant from Little Shop of Horrors, appears. Instead of longing for blood, Lenore, the Creepus Crawler Talkus vine, longs to read to her babies—aptly called “budding readers.” Dirk’s solution of a library card saves the day while also sending a message to beginning readers about the importance of libraries. Although informed by horror movies, the illustrations play down potential scariness in favor of humor, making this monster mystery a satisfying, accessible title for new readers. (Early reader. 5-7)

Pub Date: June 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-06-073768-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2009

Next book


From the Greetings from Somewhere series , Vol. 1

Not terribly remarkable, but the series has lots of growing room.

Second-grade twins prepare to leave the country, but not without first solving a time-sensitive mystery.

Ella and Ethan Briar are devastated by their parents’ announcement that the family is leaving their beloved hometown. Mrs. Briar has accepted a new job as a travel writer, a job that will send the family to new places all over the globe on a weekly basis. In an attempt to soothe the twins’ unhappiness about the move (“What about school? And soccer?” they ask), their grandfather—a retired, globe-trotting archaeologist himself—gives each a special gift for their travels. Mystery-writing Ella gets a journal; Ethan gets a special gold coin. On their last morning in town, Ethan realizes that his gold coin is missing—and they only have a few hours before they have to leave for the airport. While their grandfather does their chores, the twins methodically determine when Ethan last had the coin—the previous day—and make a list of places he visited to retrace his steps. This allows the twins to say goodbye to friendly faces throughout the town. This series-launching installment’s light on mystery, but it’s welcoming and accessible through expressive, frequent illustrations. The Mystery of the Mosaic, publishing simultaneously, takes the kids to Venice for their first overseas adventure.

Not terribly remarkable, but the series has lots of growing room. (Mystery. 5-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-9719-1

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2014

Next book


Jack and Bunny are back with a new case. Chums—Bunny is perhaps a tad on the bossy side, Jack perhaps shading into twerpdom—they have repaired to the dock to have their pizza. Bunny warns Jack not to feed the seagulls. “They’ll just linger,” Bunny says. But Jack can’t help himself, and before long, the lingering seagulls eat the entire pizza. As Bunny gives Jack a hard look, they notice a dog, a “weird dog in yellow pants,” mooching about on an adjacent dock. Curious, they approach the hound and learn he is Ramon, who dislikes earthquakes and has lost his lawn chair. Bunny and Jack unravel the case, which involves some meteorological sleuthing, and find the missing chair under the snoozing body of an old sloth, whose been sleeping in it since it blew in last Monday. Rylant has lots of fun with wordplay—“ ‘And what about that name?’ said Jack. ‘What name?’ asked Bunny. ‘Ruth,’ said Jack. ‘Ruth Sloth. It makes your tongue funny.’ ” Best is the verbal to-and-froing as these two banter and debate the scene, solving everything, including how to make a new reader laugh out loud. (Easy reader. 5-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2002

ISBN: 0-06-009098-7

Page Count: 48

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2002

Close Quickview