For fans of the Ogglies only.


From the The Ogglies series

The Ogglies are back and want to attend school (A Dragon Party for Firebottom, 2016).

Firebottom, their pet dragon, flies them and Oggly-Grandma to school, where the students and their teacher, Mrs. Lucy, don’t blink an eye at their unusual appearance: green skin, huge bulbous noses, and three horns on their heads. In fact, when Mrs. Lucy gets an emergency phone call, she thinks nothing of leaving Oggly-Grandma in charge. With her, the class draws pictures, demonstrates their weightlifting abilities, and flies to the pond to have a mud-splashing contest and learn the mudpuddle song: “We’re gonna have a puddly party, / Gonna make it fine and farty, / Gonna make ourselves all yucky, / Noone’s ever been so mucky.” (The music and lyrics are on the last page.) Firebottom washes and dries the students, and the Ogglies declare that it was so much fun that the whole family will attend the next day. Dietl plays with the concept of a substitute teacher with unconventional ideas about how to teach, and his Ogglies, with their love of stink and garbage and grossness, will certainly appeal to the lowbrow humor of early elementary students. Aside from the Ogglies, there is only one student of color in the class of nine. The lengthy text is rather small (and inexplicably smaller on two pages in particular) and sometimes overlaps the pictures, making it difficult to read.

For fans of the Ogglies only. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-76036-023-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Starfish Bay

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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A jam-packed opener sure to satisfy lovers of the princess genre.


From the Diary of an Ice Princess series

Ice princess Lina must navigate family and school in this early chapter read.

The family picnic is today. This is not a typical gathering, since Lina’s maternal relatives are a royal family of Windtamers who have power over the weather and live in castles floating on clouds. Lina herself is mixed race, with black hair and a tan complexion like her Asian-presenting mother’s; her Groundling father appears to be a white human. While making a grand entrance at the castle of her grandfather, the North Wind, she fails to successfully ride a gust of wind and crashes in front of her entire family. This prompts her stern grandfather to ask that Lina move in with him so he can teach her to control her powers. Desperate to avoid this, Lina and her friend Claudia, who is black, get Lina accepted at the Hilltop Science and Arts Academy. Lina’s parents allow her to go as long as she does lessons with grandpa on Saturdays. However, fitting in at a Groundling school is rough, especially when your powers start freak winter storms! With the story unfurling in diary format, bright-pink–highlighted grayscale illustrations help move the plot along. There are slight gaps in the storytelling and the pacing is occasionally uneven, but Lina is full of spunk and promotes self-acceptance.

A jam-packed opener sure to satisfy lovers of the princess genre. (Fantasy. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 25, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-35393-8

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

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Inspiring, adventurous fun for aspirational kids.


A little girl’s imaginative plan to become an astronaut and be the first to travel to Mars really takes off.

Together with a crew of stuffed animals (owl, rabbit, and teddy bear), Sadie Sprocket does her research, gathers materials to build her spaceship, and, with support from family and friends—and media coverage—embarks on her historic journey. Rhyming quatrains tell the story of how Sadie patiently reads, cooks, and records important data during the 100-day interplanetary journey. And then: “The Earth behind, so far away, / was now a tiny dot. / Then Sadie cried, ‘There’s planet Mars! / It’s smaller than I thought!’ ” After landing and gathering 20 bags of samples, Sadie and crew are stuck in a red sandstorm while trying to take off again. But with Sadie’s determination and can-do spirit, they blast off, safely returning to Earth with future heroic space-exploration ideas in mind. Spiky cartoons transform a child’s playroom into an outer-space venue, complete with twinkling stars and colorful planets. Sadie presents White while her encouraging fans feature more diversity. An addendum includes brief facts about Mars and a handful of women space scientists. (This book was reviewed digitally with 11-by-17-inch double-page spreads viewed at 50% of actual size.)

Inspiring, adventurous fun for aspirational kids. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5420-1803-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

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