THE STINKY FEET MONSTER

From the Frank and Bean series

This droll twosome is sure to have kids in stitches.

The delightful oddball duo are back for another adventure, this time hunting down a monster.

The Stinky Feet Monster is said to live in a cave, have incredibly stinky feet (“Just one smell of its feet and you’ll fall over”) that shake the ground when it walks, and say only “ME WANT TO EAT YOU!” While Frank, a hot dog dressed for outdoor exploration and monster hunting, firmly believes in the existence of the Stinky Feet Monster, Bean, a kidney bean who styles himself more like a member of Abba, with funky “rock star boots,” a top hat with a purple lightning bolt on it, sunglasses, and a drum around his neck, is a nonbeliever…though his feelings gradually change as the duo search for the monster’s cave, gain a new friend, and ultimately discover, à la The Monster at the End of This Book, the Stinky Feet Monster. Throughout, Michalak keeps the sentence length and vocabulary within reach of those just tackling longer texts, with repetitive words and sentence structures and short chapters giving them further support. Kolar’s digital illustrations are a great balance of simple but relevant (and hysterical) details and the unmistakable emotions of the characters.

This droll twosome is sure to have kids in stitches. (Early reader. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2023

ISBN: 9781536225464

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: June 8, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2023

CLAYMATES

The dynamic interaction between the characters invites readers to take risks, push boundaries, and have a little unscripted...

Reinvention is the name of the game for two blobs of clay.

A blue-eyed gray blob and a brown-eyed brown blob sit side by side, unsure as to what’s going to happen next. The gray anticipates an adventure, while the brown appears apprehensive. A pair of hands descends, and soon, amid a flurry of squishing and prodding and poking and sculpting, a handsome gray wolf and a stately brown owl emerge. The hands disappear, leaving the friends to their own devices. The owl is pleased, but the wolf convinces it that the best is yet to come. An ear pulled here and an extra eye placed there, and before you can shake a carving stick, a spurt of frenetic self-exploration—expressed as a tangled black scribble—reveals a succession of smug hybrid beasts. After all, the opportunity to become a “pig-e-phant” doesn’t come around every day. But the sound of approaching footsteps panics the pair of Picassos. How are they going to “fix [them]selves” on time? Soon a hippopotamus and peacock are staring bug-eyed at a returning pair of astonished hands. The creative naiveté of the “clay mates” is perfectly captured by Petty’s feisty, spot-on dialogue: “This was your idea…and it was a BAD one.” Eldridge’s endearing sculpted images are photographed against the stark white background of an artist’s work table to great effect.

The dynamic interaction between the characters invites readers to take risks, push boundaries, and have a little unscripted fun of their own . (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 20, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-316-30311-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: March 28, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2017

SNOW PLACE LIKE HOME

From the Diary of an Ice Princess series

A jam-packed opener sure to satisfy lovers of the princess genre.

Ice princess Lina must navigate family and school in this early chapter read.

The family picnic is today. This is not a typical gathering, since Lina’s maternal relatives are a royal family of Windtamers who have power over the weather and live in castles floating on clouds. Lina herself is mixed race, with black hair and a tan complexion like her Asian-presenting mother’s; her Groundling father appears to be a white human. While making a grand entrance at the castle of her grandfather, the North Wind, she fails to successfully ride a gust of wind and crashes in front of her entire family. This prompts her stern grandfather to ask that Lina move in with him so he can teach her to control her powers. Desperate to avoid this, Lina and her friend Claudia, who is black, get Lina accepted at the Hilltop Science and Arts Academy. Lina’s parents allow her to go as long as she does lessons with grandpa on Saturdays. However, fitting in at a Groundling school is rough, especially when your powers start freak winter storms! With the story unfurling in diary format, bright-pink–highlighted grayscale illustrations help move the plot along. There are slight gaps in the storytelling and the pacing is occasionally uneven, but Lina is full of spunk and promotes self-acceptance.

A jam-packed opener sure to satisfy lovers of the princess genre. (Fantasy. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 25, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-35393-8

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 26, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

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