THE GREAT GOOGLESTEIN MUSEUM MYSTERY

A trio of mice living in a dollhouse in a New York City department store decides to hitch a ride in a shopping bag in search of an adventure. Taking a taxi ride nestled deep in tissue paper and stuffed animals, Marvin, Raymond, and Fats are deposited right across the street from Central Park, where they enjoy the day watching the people whizzing by on bicycles and, Marvin’s favorite, Rollerblades. Intending to return home, they bustle back across the busy street, disguised as bits of trash. There, Raymond sees something that stops their progress: the Guggenheim Museum. Once inside, their real adventure begins. Raymond is finally in his element, able to enjoy all of the artwork he has only read about. The spiraling ramp inspires Marvin to take up Rollerblading, which Raymond’s ingenuity makes possible. The real surprise, however, is Fats’s newfound talent as an artist. Combining found-object collages and condiment paint, his work is soon the toast of the New York art scene, garnering him a one-mouse show at the Googlestein (Guggenheim). Unfortunately, his status as a mouse makes it impossible for him to reveal himself—only his friends know the truth behind the mysterious artist. The mouse’s-eye view of the peculiar habits of humans and famous works of art will amuse and inspire young readers. Simple line drawings of the gang’s exciting adventures pepper the text. A whisker-tingling adventure. (Fiction. 7-11)

Pub Date: April 1, 2003

ISBN: 0-8037-2765-8

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2003

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We challenge anyone to read this and keep a straight face.

THE BAD GUYS

From the Bad Guys series , Vol. 1

Four misunderstood villains endeavor to turn over a new leaf…or a new rap sheet in Blabey's frenzied romp.

As readers open the first page of this early chapter book, Mr. Wolf is right there to greet them, bemoaning his reputation. "Just because I've got BIG POINTY TEETH and RAZOR-SHARP CLAWS and I occasionally like to dress up like an OLD LADY, that doesn't mean… / … I'm a BAD GUY." To prove this very fact, Mr. Wolf enlists three equally slandered friends into the Good Guys Club: Mr. Snake (aka the Chicken Swallower), Mr. Piranha (aka the Butt Biter), and Mr. Shark (aka Jaws). After some convincing from Mr. Wolf, the foursome sets off determined to un-smirch their names (and reluctantly curbing their appetites). Although these predators find that not everyone is ready to be at the receiving end of their helpful efforts, they use all their Bad Guy know-how to manage a few hilarious good deeds. Blabey has hit the proverbial nail on the head, kissed it full on the mouth, and handed it a stick of Acme dynamite. With illustrations that startle in their manic comedy and deadpan direct address and with a narrative that follows four endearingly sardonic characters trying to push past (sometimes successfully) their fear-causing natures, this book instantly joins the classic ranks of Captain Underpants and The Stinky Cheese Man.

We challenge anyone to read this and keep a straight face. (Fiction. 7-11)

Pub Date: Jan. 3, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-545-91240-2

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2016

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A multicultural title with obvious appeal for animal-loving middle graders.

TIGER BOY

When a Bengali boy finds and saves a tiger cub from a man who wants to sell her on the black market, he realizes that the schoolwork he resents could lead to a career protecting his beloved Sunderbans island home.

When the not-yet-weaned cub escapes from a nearby reserve, Neel and many of his neighbors join the search. But some are in the pay of greedy Gupta, a shady entrepreneur who’s recently settled in their community. Even Neel’s father is tempted by Gupta’s money, although he knows that Gupta doesn’t plan to take the cub back to the refuge. Neel and his sister use the boy’s extensive knowledge of the island’s swampy interior to find the cub’s hiding place and lure it out so it can be returned to its mother. The Kolkota-born author visited the remote Sunderbans in the course of her research. She lovingly depicts this beautiful tropical forest in the context of Neel’s efforts to find the cub and his reluctance to leave his familiar world. While the conflicts resolve a bit too easily, the sense of place is strong and the tiger cub’s rescue very satisfying. Pastel illustrations will help readers envision the story.

A multicultural title with obvious appeal for animal-loving middle graders. (author's note, organizations, glossary) (Fiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: April 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-58089-660-3

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: Jan. 10, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2015

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