BUNNICULA STRIKES AGAIN!

Once again Harold, “canine author extraordinaire,” relates a madcap tale lit up with clever character twists and plots going hilariously awry. Convinced that his long-eared nemesis is up to something, Chester the cat hopes to weaken Bunnicula by drinking his carrot juice on the sly. To Chester’s dismay, the worried Monroes cart their suddenly lethargic bunny to the vet’s, touching off a merry chase that includes a suspicious Harold and the subintellectual Howie. Adding cameos of feline ne’er-do-wells Felony and Miss Demeanor, plus other characters from previous books, Howe (Rabbit-Cadabra!, 1993, etc.) flogs the plot along to a melodramatic climax; Chester and Bunnicula are caught up in the demolition of the old movie house in which Bunnicula was first found, and are seen plunging into oblivion together. By the time the two are pulled safely from the rubble, Chester has suffered an astonishing change of heart, and Howie expresses literary ambitions—developments that fans of this long-running, and deservedly popular, series will view with approval, or alarm. (b&w illustrations) (Fiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-689-81463-1

Page Count: 116

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1999

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PET DETECTIVES

Policeman Jack’s cat and dog team, Kitty and Belle, are an unusual crime-busting duo: Kitty is a shrewd mouser, while lazy Belle would rather sleep. When a wily burglar picks the lock and breaks into Policeman Jack’s house, Kitty jumps on top of the thief’s head, while Belle rouses from a nap to growl and chase the burglar out the door. They are rewarded with a TV appearance on the nightly news. In a tale told entirely in verse, the entrance of the burglar functions more as a device to break up the monotony than for building suspense or creating comedy. O’Malley saves the day with his portraits of the highly personable pets, including one picture of the appropriately sleepy Belle, bloodshot eye open amidst folds of fur. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-8167-4952-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1999

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DOLPHIN FREEDOM

Rife with adventure, this title from Grover (Dolphin Adventure, 1990, etc.) continues the story of his ongoing relationship with a special group of dolphins in Florida. When poachers from nearby Bahamas capture Baby and several other dolphins, Grover, with the assistance of friends Amos and Jack, sets out to rescue them. Their daring plan takes them to Dead Man Cay, a notorious island where they discover not only Baby and the members of his pod, but a shocking total of 14 wild dolphins penned in fetid concrete tanks, bound for amusement centers throughout Mexico. The danger to Grover and his allies is real; the poachers interrupt their escape and are clearly intent on killing them. The dolphins ultimately save their human friends. For those keeping tallies, dolphins emerge as more civilized than humans in most of this tale. Grover details the poachers’ brutal treatment of the creatures and several violent interactions between them and the rescuers, while the dolphins merely play “seamen soccer” with the villains. References to Grover’s inexplicable mental connection to the creatures, especially in times of crisis, combined with intimations that the tale may be autobiographical, will encourage readers to explore the complex lives of dolphins. The fast-paced action never overwhelms the cause—protecting the dolphins—that is so obviously dear to the author’s heart. (b&w illustrations, not seen) (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-688-16010-7

Page Count: 109

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 1999

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