A cheery fantasy about making new friends, exploring new places, and learning to get along with your sister.

THE WISHING WINGS

From the Butterfly Wishes series , Vol. 1

The first, utterly adorable book in a new chapter-book series.

Addie Gibson, a white girl in Bishop’s illustrations, is bored and lonely in her new home. During an exploration of the forest behind her house, Addie meets a colorful butterfly named Sky Dance; however, Sky Dance isn’t an everyday, nonmagical butterfly—she’s a Wishing Wing, and the entrance to her home, Wishing Wing Grove, is on the other side of the woods. Sky Dance and the Wishing Wings need Addie’s help. Someone has placed a dark enchantment on New Blooms—Wishing Wings who have just emerged from their chrysalides. The effects of the enchantment are unclear, except that it seems to cause New Blooms to forget both who they are and their mission: to spread the lightness of mind that is intrinsic to the butterfly spirit. New Blooms must grant a wish by sunset on their first day out of the chrysalis, or they lose their magic forever. Sky Dance’s newly emerged sister, Shimmer Leaf, is one of the cursed and suffers from this mysterious butterfly amnesia. The solution is easy: Addie’s little sister, Clara, could use some cheering up; perhaps human girl and butterfly can help each other help their sisters. The story concludes with the promise of more adventure. Life lessons hover dangerously between subtle and pedantic, but they lean slightly closer toward less is more.

A cheery fantasy about making new friends, exploring new places, and learning to get along with your sister. (Fantasy. 7-10)

Pub Date: Dec. 26, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-68119-491-2

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2017

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A fitting farewell, still funny, acute, and positive in its view of human nature even in its 37th episode.

HORRIBLE HARRY SAYS GOODBYE

From the Horrible Harry series , Vol. 37

A long-running series reaches its closing chapters.

Having, as Kline notes in her warm valedictory acknowledgements, taken 30 years to get through second and third grade, Harry Spooger is overdue to move on—but not just into fourth grade, it turns out, as his family is moving to another town as soon as the school year ends. The news leaves his best friend, narrator “Dougo,” devastated…particularly as Harry doesn’t seem all that fussed about it. With series fans in mind, the author takes Harry through a sort of last-day-of-school farewell tour. From his desk he pulls a burned hot dog and other items that featured in past episodes, says goodbye to Song Lee and other classmates, and even (for the first time ever) leads Doug and readers into his house and memento-strewn room for further reminiscing. Of course, Harry isn’t as blasé about the move as he pretends, and eyes aren’t exactly dry when he departs. But hardly is he out of sight before Doug is meeting Mohammad, a new neighbor from Syria who (along with further diversifying a cast that began as mostly white but has become increasingly multiethnic over the years) will also be starting fourth grade at summer’s end, and planning a written account of his “horrible” buddy’s exploits. Finished illustrations not seen.

A fitting farewell, still funny, acute, and positive in its view of human nature even in its 37th episode. (Fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: Nov. 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-451-47963-1

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Sept. 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2018

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Young readers will recognize Suds as one of their own and will gladly follow him to fourth grade. Sweet and funny.

THIRD GRADE ANGELS

Suds Morton is not yet a “Fourth Grade Rat.” In this prequel to Spinelli's 1991 standby, he is a year younger and, according to his school’s traditional chant, he aspires to the sobriquet of “Third Grade Angel.”

When his teacher announces her intention of rewarding angelic behavior with a halo, Suds decides he wants to be the first angel. Between his cool new friend Joey, his wise mom and a little conclusion-jumping, he comes up with a plan. But, of course, his results are just a little off-kilter. Suds, nicknamed for his preference for calming soaks in bubble baths when he gets “chipmunky,” needs all the help he can get to deal with the various disasters and tribulations that threaten to overwhelm him. Along with the angel chase there’s a pesky little sister, a fifth-grade bully and total rejection by the girl he adores. Spinelli doesn’t miss a beat in recreating the characters from the earlier work and never reveals any hint of Suds’ fourth-grade future. He lets readers into Suds’ 8-year-old mind without condescension. His problems and concerns are treated comically but with genuine kindness. Suds is innocent, gullible and trusting; he is also entirely good-hearted.

Young readers will recognize Suds as one of their own and will gladly follow him to fourth grade. Sweet and funny. (Fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-545-38772-9

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Levine/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 18, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2012

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