Fun, fun, fun



From the Babymouse Tales from the Locker series , Vol. 3

When Babymouse’s class goes on a trip to the city museum, things go hilariously awry.

In her third middle school adventure, the larger-than-life and full-of-big-ideas Babymouse is overjoyed to hear about the upcoming field trip to the art museum. Before her permission slip is even signed, Babymouse is already daydreaming scenarios that see her art framed among the masterpieces. True to character, Babymouse is quickly distracted and does not even make it out of the museum gift shop before ill-advisedly following frenemy Felicia and her cronies as they set out to skip the trip and explore the big city. Babymouse and her friend Penny soon lose Felicia in the urban hustle and bustle—but they find a lost kitten. They devote the rest of their day to reuniting the adorable kitty with its owner for a promised reward. Predictably, Babymouse and Penny have one outrageous and exciting experience after another as they navigate the vast and unfamiliar city without any technological assistance (Babymouse drops and breaks her phone...again). Will the friends be able to maneuver the metropolis, return the kitten, and make it back before their bus leaves? Told through a fizzy mix of black-and-white comic panels and illustrations alongside prose, this installment has a delightful throwback feel, showing kids that they can be independent and self-reliant without smartphones and/or the internet.

Fun, fun, fun . (Graphic/fiction hybrid. 7-10)

Pub Date: July 9, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-399-55444-5

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2019

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Readers will be waiting to see how Charlie faces his next challenge in a series that marks a lovely change of pace from the...


From the Charlie Bumpers series , Vol. 1

Charlie Bumpers is doomed. The one teacher he never wanted in the whole school turns out to be his fourth-grade teacher.

Charlie recalls third grade, when he accidentally hit the scariest teacher in the whole school with his sneaker. “I know all about you, Charlie Bumpers,” she says menacingly on the first day of fourth grade. Now, in addition to all the hardships of starting school, he has gotten off on the wrong foot with her. Charlie’s dry and dramatic narrative voice clearly reveals the inner life of a 9-year-old—the glass is always half empty, especially in light of a series of well-intentioned events gone awry. It’s quite a litany: “Hitting Mrs. Burke in the head with the sneaker. The messy desk. The swinging on the door. The toilet paper. And now this—the shoe on the roof.” Harley has teamed once again with illustrator Gustavson (Lost and Found, 2012) to create a real-life world in which a likable kid must face the everyday terrors of childhood: enormous bullies, looming teachers and thick gym coaches with huge pointing fingers. Into this series opener, Harley magically weaves the simple lesson that people, even teachers, can surprise you.

Readers will be waiting to see how Charlie faces his next challenge in a series that marks a lovely change of pace from the sarcasm of Wimpy Kid. (Fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-56145-732-8

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: Aug. 14, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2013

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An uncomplicated opener, with some funny bits and a clear but not heavy agenda.


From the Here's Hank series , Vol. 1

Hank Zipzer, poster boy for dyslexic middle graders everywhere, stars in a new prequel series highlighting second-grade trials and triumphs.

Hank’s hopes of playing Aqua Fly, a comic-book character, in the upcoming class play founder when, despite plenty of coaching and preparation, he freezes up during tryouts. He is not particularly comforted when his sympathetic teacher adds a nonspeaking role as a bookmark to the play just for him. Following the pattern laid down in his previous appearances as an older child, he gets plenty of help and support from understanding friends (including Ashley Wong, a new apartment-house neighbor). He even manages to turn lemons into lemonade with a quick bit of improv when Nick “the Tick” McKelty, the sneering classmate who took his preferred role, blanks on his lines during the performance. As the aforementioned bully not only chokes in the clutch and gets a demeaning nickname, but is fat, boastful and eats like a pig, the authors’ sensitivity is rather one-sided. Still, Hank has a winning way of bouncing back from adversity, and like the frequent black-and-white line-and-wash drawings, the typeface is designed with easy legibility in mind.

An uncomplicated opener, with some funny bits and a clear but not heavy agenda. (Fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: Feb. 14, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-448-48239-2

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: Dec. 11, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

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