Another romp full of zesty, true-life fun. (Fiction. 7-10)

NO ROOM FOR DESSERT

From the Dessert series , Vol. 3

Lively third-grader Dessert returns for more comic classroom and family fun as she learns to cope with jealousy in her third outing (Just Desserts, 2010, etc.). 

Dessert certainly doesn’t lack confidence. She’s sure she’ll easily win the prize for the best invention in her classroom’s Thomas Edison unit. At home, however, things don’t look as promising. Her mom spends all of her time with her two baby brothers and barely notices Dessert, while her dad concentrates on managing the family’s restaurant, devoted entirely to fondue. As her despair at home increases, her certainty that she’ll win the classroom prize increases, especially when she privately judges her classmate’s inventions as obviously inferior to her own Vending Dresser, which would dispense a full month’s worth of complete daily outfits at the mere press of a button. If she doesn’t win, however, this fully realized, vivacious little character might learn some important lessons beyond those her teacher, Mrs. Howdy Doody, includes in the curriculum. When Dessert’s mom forgets to pick her up at school, some family lessons may make Dessert feel much better, especially as she gets to eat real dessert—first!—at the family restaurant. Davenier’s sparkling line drawings help young readers visualize the action.

Another romp full of zesty, true-life fun. (Fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: June 7, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4424-0360-4

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: April 18, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2011

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A bit disjointed and episodic, but Tristan is a likable companion.

THE DOUGHNUT FIX

From the Doughnut Fix series , Vol. 1

Tristan’s family has always loved living in New York City, but all that is about to change.

Dad announces that they are moving to a dilapidated, purple house on a hill on the outskirts of the very small town of Petersville in upstate New York. Baby sister Zoe is frightened and confused. Jeanine, two years younger than Tristan and a math genius in gifted and talented classes, is appalled and worried about her educational prospects. Tristan is devastated, for he is a city kid through and through. Because they won’t be starting school for several months, their parents tell Jeanine and Tristan they must complete a project. Jeanine selects a complicated scientific and mathematical study that allows her to remain uninvolved with people. Tristan, who loves to cook, like his chef mom, decides to start a business making and selling the supposedly mind-blowing chocolate-cream doughnuts once famous in Petersville but now no longer made. His business plan leads to adventures, new friends, and a sense of acceptance. Tristan is a charmer; he’s earnest, loving, wistful, and practical, and he narrates his own tale without guile. But he is the only character so well defined—next to him, the supporting cast feels flat. The family is described as Jewish early on, but their Judaism is kept well to the background; the people of Petersville are white by default.

A bit disjointed and episodic, but Tristan is a likable companion. (recipes, business plan, acknowledgements) (Fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: April 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4926-5541-1

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: Jan. 23, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2018

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Gizmo is more droll than likable, but Wedgie is attractively steadfast and amiable, in the end rescuing both Gizmo and the...

WEDGIE & GIZMO

From the Wedgie & Gizmo series , Vol. 1

When families get blended, so do their animals. Gizmo, a genius guinea pig who can read and wears eyeglasses, and Wedgie, a much less intelligent corgi who wears a superhero cape, each alternately relate their interwoven stories in distinct first-pet voices.

Unfortunately for the guinea pig, his owner, Elliot, is forced to let his new, annoying little sister, Jasmine, help take care of Gizmo. Jasmine enjoys dressing him up in tutus and housing him in Barbie’s lavish (pink) former abode. But Gizmo is an intrepid sort of critter with evil plans to rule the world, and he does find Barbie’s rucksack useful for carrying gear as he engages in some nighttime adventures, not all of them successful. Through comments Elliot makes, readers learn of his unhappiness with his new family situation, although this second storyline takes a back seat to Gizmo’s scheming. Acting as his and Elliot’s foil, Wedgie, who calls Gizmo “the Furry Potato,” is convincingly doglike in his eager embrace of just about everything. Fisinger’s numerous illustrations are action-packed and appropriately humorous, especially in their depiction of Wedgie’s never-ending enthusiasm. An opening gallery introduces Jasmine’s family as Latino and Elliot and his father as black. While the tale is never laugh-out-loud funny, it’s amusing and imaginative enough to sustain interest for readers new to chapter books.

Gizmo is more droll than likable, but Wedgie is attractively steadfast and amiable, in the end rescuing both Gizmo and the story. (Fantasy. 7-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-244763-0

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2017

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