Campers and cooks will enjoy this tasty tale.

DUTCH THE CAST IRON OVEN

A cooking implement forms a lasting friendship with a boy in this picture book.

Dutch isn’t a pot: He’s a cast-iron oven. Following Dutch’s life from when he was first “born” in 1865 through his travels across the prairie in a covered wagon and his arrival in a log cabin home, the story explores generations of a family. The advent of the electric oven leaves Dutch relegated to a barn. After years of languishing without cooking, Dutch is purchased at an estate sale and his new family introduces him to camping. He develops a special relationship with Tyler, one of the children. When Tyler leaves for college, Dutch is worried he’ll be left in the garage, but the teen returns to fetch his cooking companion. With notes reminiscent of Margery Williams’ classic The Velveteen Rabbit, Riddle’s story embraces not only the relationship between a child and a beloved object, but also the joy of cooking outdoors and sharing moments with family. Guess’ gentle ink and paint illustrations give more emotion and personality to Dutch than to the tale’s (mostly pale-skinned) humans, who never quite come to life. The author’s previous nonfiction titles, two volumes of The Keen Camper: Camping With Kids (2017; 2018), pair well with this entertaining fictional story about a piece of camping equipment. Recipes in the back encourage children and their parents to try outdoor cooking.

Campers and cooks will enjoy this tasty tale.

Pub Date: Nov. 20, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-9988716-4-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Southeast Seven Publishing

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2020

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Good-hearted fun—great for fans of Kit Feeny and Babymouse.

MEET THE BIGFEET

From the Yeti Files series , Vol. 1

It’s a Bigfeet family reunion!

Everyone’s favorite frosty, furry cryptid, the yeti, actually has a name: Blizz Richards. From his supersecret HQ in Nepal he keeps in touch with his fellow cryptids, all of whom have sworn an oath to keep themselves hidden. That’s not always easy, especially when there are cryptozoologists, like the nasty (but bumbling) George Vanquist, who are always trying to expose the secretive creatures. Vanquist got a picture of Blizz’s cousin Brian near his home in British Columbia, causing the mortified Brian to disappear entirely. When Blizz receives an invitation to a Bigfeet family reunion in Canada, he calls his buddies Alexander (one of Santa’s elves), Gunthar (a goblin) and Frank the Arctic fox to help him get ready. When they arrive in Canada, Brian is still nowhere to be seen. Can Blizz and his skunk ape and other sasquatch cousins find Brian, have the reunion and evade Vanquist? If anyone can, the Bigfeet clan can. Illustrator Sherry’s first volume in the Yeti Files is a fast and funny graphic-prose tale full of labeled pictures and comic-style panels. Those just starting chapter books may have some trouble with a few big words, but they’ll enjoy the big friendly monsters and immediately ask for the next tale—which looks to be about the Loch Ness monster.

Good-hearted fun—great for fans of Kit Feeny and Babymouse. (Graphic/fantasy hybrid. 7-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 30, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-545-55617-0

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 28, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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Move over Ramona Quimby, Portland has another neighbor you have to meet!

WAYS TO MAKE SUNSHINE

From the Ryan Hart series , Vol. 1

Ryan Hart is navigating the fourth grade and all its challenges with determination.

Her mom named her Ryan because it means “king,” and she wanted Ryan to feel powerful every time she heard her name; Ryan knows it means she is a leader. So when changes occur or disaster strikes, budding chef Ryan does her best to find the positive and “make sunshine.” When her dad is laid off from the post office, the family must make adjustments that include moving into a smaller house, selling their car, and changing how they shop for groceries. But Ryan gets to stay at Vernon Elementary, and her mom still finds a way to get her the ingredients she needs to practice new recipes. Her older brother, Ray, can be bossy, but he finds little ways to support her, especially when she is down—as does the whole family. Each episodic chapter confronts Ryan with a situation; intermittently funny, frustrating, and touching, they should be familiar and accessible to readers, as when Ryan fumbles her Easter speech despite careful practice. Ryan, her family, and friends are Black, and Watson continues to bring visibility to both Portland, Oregon, generally and its Black community specifically, making another wonderful contribution that allows Black readers to see themselves and all readers to find a character they can love.

Move over Ramona Quimby, Portland has another neighbor you have to meet! (Fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: April 28, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5476-0056-4

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Jan. 21, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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