This fast-paced series outing has a spunky, likable heroine but suffers from authenticity issues.


From the Jasmine Green Rescues series , Vol. 1

Plucky Jasmine Green will do anything to save a helpless animal.

Jasmine is the daughter of a veterinarian mother and farmer father. Jasmine loves the animals on Oak Tree Farm, where the family lives, and dreams of growing up and starting her own animal-rescue center. In this series opener, Jasmine accompanies her mother on a medical visit to a neighboring farm, where she discovers a baby pig on the verge of death. The runt of the litter, the piglet is so small and weak that the farmer doesn’t think she’s worth rescuing. Outraged, Jasmine sneaks the piglet out in her coat, determined to give Truffle a chance at life. In the simultaneously publishing sequel, A Duckling Called Button, Jasmine rescues orphaned eggs. Jasmine’s sparkling personality, no-nonsense resourcefulness, and fiery commitment to wildlife make her a compelling heroine. The well-paced plot intertwined with unusual facts about animals and farms makes for a page-turning read. Jasmine’s biracial background, however, is slightly puzzling. Her father seems to be white, and her mother’s identity is implied by a curious combination of a Muslim given name (Nadia) and Sikh surname (Singh), making her identity difficult to pin down. Aside from Jasmine’s complexion and a passing reference to kati rolls, the South Asian part of her identity is never explored.

This fast-paced series outing has a spunky, likable heroine but suffers from authenticity issues. (Fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: March 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5362-1024-8

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Walker US/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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A plucky mouse finds her true home in this warm, winning tale.


From the Heartwood Hotel series , Vol. 1

An orphan mouse unexpectedly arrives at Heartwood Hotel, which she hopes will become the home she’s seeking.

Mona’s never had a home for long. After a storm forces her to flee her latest forest shelter, she discovers an enormous tree with a heart carved into its trunk. When Mona presses the heart, a door opens, and she enters the lobby of Heartwood Hotel, where small forest critters hibernate, eat, and celebrate in safety. The kindhearted badger proprietor, Mr. Heartwood, takes pity on homeless Mona, allowing her to stay for the fall to assist the maid, Tilly, a red squirrel. Grateful to be at Heartwood, Mona strives to prove herself despite Tilly’s unfriendly attitude. Mona’s clever approaches with a wounded songbird, an anxious skunk, and a wayward bear win Mr. Heartwood’s approval. But when Mona accidentally breaks a rule, Tilly convinces her she will be fired. As Mona secretly leaves Heartwood, she discovers marauding wolves planning to crash Heartwood’s Snow Festival and devises a daring plan to save the place she regards as home. Charming anthropomorphic characters, humorous mishaps, and outside threats add to the drama. Delicate pencil illustrations reinforce Heartwood’s cozy home theme. A sequel, The Greatest Gift, publishes simultaneously.

A plucky mouse finds her true home in this warm, winning tale. (Animal fantasy. 7-10)

Pub Date: July 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4847-3161-1

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: April 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2017

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This is rather a silly story, and I don't believe children will think it particularly funny. A paper hanger and painter finds time on his hands in winter, and spends it in reading of arctic exploration. It is all given reality when he receives a present of a penguin, which makes its nest in the refrigerator on cubes of ice, mates with a lonely penguin from the zoo, and produces a family of penguins which help set the Poppers on their feet.

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 1938

ISBN: 978-0-316-05843-8

Page Count: 139

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1938

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