Whether they live with dogs or not, readers will absorb some truths about family vacations and the true care of animal...

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LULU AND THE DOG FROM THE SEA

From the Lulu series , Vol. 2

Lulu and Mellie, 7-year-old cousins and best friends, share a summer outing with lots of doggy goodness.

The cottage by the sea is not exactly what Lulu’s parents had envisioned—it is rather far from the beach, there are only two cups and two glasses, and the caretaker is grumpy and warns them about a stray, savage dog. The girls, however, are delighted, especially when Lulu, who loves animals, spots a very unkempt dog. Restaurant folk and the ice-cream-stand people know about the dog, too. Soon readers meet him, and they learn that he was born behind the Golden Lotus restaurant, that his mother and sisters were taken by the dogcatcher, and that he survives by stealing from picnics and garbage cans and by avoiding grown-ups. Lulu has brought Sam, her elderly dog, on vacation, too, but that does not stop her from finding ways of feeding and encouraging the stray “dog from the sea.” When the kite that has been Mellie’s vacation project leads the girls out at dawn and into some difficulty, it is the dog from the sea who overcomes his fear of adults and leads them to the lost and frightened girls. Thus, Lulu’s menagerie grows as the vacation week ends, and two dogs come home.

Whether they live with dogs or not, readers will absorb some truths about family vacations and the true care of animal companions in the company of Lulu and Mellie, who are as utterly charming and as completely age 7 as possible. (Fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: March 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-8075-4820-2

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: Jan. 16, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2013

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A nifty high-seas caper for chapter-book readers with a love of adventure and a yearning for treasure.

THE PIRATE PIG

It’s not truffles but doubloons that tickle this porcine wayfarer’s fancy.

Funke and Meyer make another foray into chapter-book fare after Emma and the Blue Genie (2014). Here, mariner Stout Sam and deckhand Pip eke out a comfortable existence on Butterfly Island ferrying cargo to and fro. Life is good, but it takes an unexpected turn when a barrel washes ashore containing a pig with a skull-and-crossbones pendant around her neck. It soon becomes clear that this little piggy, dubbed Julie, has the ability to sniff out treasure—lots of it—in the sea. The duo is pleased with her skills, but pride goeth before the hog. Stout Sam hands out some baubles to the local children, and his largess attracts the unwanted attention of Barracuda Bill and his nasty minions. Now they’ve pignapped Julie, and it’s up to the intrepid sailors to save the porker and their own bacon. The succinct word count meets the needs of kids looking for early adventure fare. The tale is slight, bouncy, and amusing, though Julie is never the piratical buccaneer the book’s cover seems to suggest. Meanwhile, Meyer’s cheery watercolors are as comfortable diagramming the different parts of a pirate vessel as they are rendering the dread pirate captain himself.

A nifty high-seas caper for chapter-book readers with a love of adventure and a yearning for treasure. (Adventure. 7-9)

Pub Date: June 23, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-37544-3

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2015

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The story feels a bit contrived, but Ada will be a welcome addition to the small circle of science-loving girls in the...

ADA LACE, ON THE CASE

From the Ada Lace series , Vol. 1

Using science and technology, third-grader Ada Lace kicks off her new series by solving a mystery even with her leg in a cast.

Temporarily housebound after a badly executed bungee jump, Ada uses binoculars to document the ecosystem of her new neighborhood in San Francisco. She records her observations in a field journal, a project that intrigues new friend Nina, who lives nearby. When they see that Ms. Reed’s dog, Marguerite, is missing, they leap to the conclusion that it has been stolen. Nina does the legwork and Ada provides the technology for their search for the dognapper. Story-crafting takes a back seat to scene-setting in this series kickoff that introduces the major players. As part of the series formula, science topics and gadgetry are integrated into the stories and further explained in a “Behind the Science” afterword. This installment incorporates drones, a wireless camera, gecko gloves, and the Turing test as well as the concept of an ecosystem. There are no ethnic indicators in the text, but the illustrations reveal that Ada, her family, and bratty neighbor Milton are white; Nina appears to be Southeast Asian; and Mr. Peebles, an inventor who lives nearby, is black.

The story feels a bit contrived, but Ada will be a welcome addition to the small circle of science-loving girls in the chapter-book world. (Fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 29, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4814-8599-9

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 24, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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