Kitschy and tedious

READ REVIEW

LOU LOU & PEA AND THE BICENTENNIAL BONANZA

From the Lou Lou & Pea series , Vol. 2

Lou Lou and Pea are back for a second adventure following series opener Lou Lou & Pea and the Mural Mystery (2016).

Fifth-grade best friends, the white, budding horticulturist Lou Lou (short for Louise) and Latina fashionista Pea (short for Peacock) are thrilled to be helping their neighborhood, El Corazón, host the citywide Bicentennial Bonanza. When the mayor must leave town for a family emergency and the vice mayor takes the reins of the event planning, things go awry. Vice Mayor Argyle, who is a villain straight from vaudeville melodrama with his garish clothing and slick goatee, claims to have discovered the long-lost diary of the city’s founder, and its contents claim that rival neighborhood Verde Valley is the rightful host of the town anniversary fiesta. Lou Lou and Pea set out to prove the diary is a fake and reclaim their neighborhood’s hosting role. The ending is a foregone conclusion, though it takes several chapters longer than necessary to arrive at the destination. Despite the verbosity, silly alliterative names and the fanciful premise seem written for a younger audience than the reading level would suggest. Apart from half-Mexican Pea, Latinx characters appear in several supporting roles, and Spanish vocabulary and location names are sprinkled throughout the text. However, starting with the clunky “Verde Valley” and extending to awkward use of Spanish in dialogue, the feeling is one of a predominantly white culture that has co-opted Latinx culture and language as its own.

Kitschy and tedious . (Mystery. 8-12)

Pub Date: April 24, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-374-30298-6

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

With Ivan’s movie out this year from Disney, expect great interest—it will be richly rewarded.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

THE ONE AND ONLY BOB

Tiny, sassy Bob the dog, friend of The One and Only Ivan (2012), returns to tell his tale.

Wisecracking Bob, who is a little bit Chihuahua among other things, now lives with his girl, Julia, and her parents. Happily, her father works at Wildworld Zoological Park and Sanctuary, the zoo where Bob’s two best friends, Ivan the gorilla and Ruby the elephant, live, so Bob gets to visit and catch up with them regularly. Due to an early betrayal, Bob doesn’t trust humans (most humans are good only for their thumbs); he fears he’s going soft living with Julia, and he’s certain he is a Bad Dog—as in “not a good representative of my species.” On a visit to the zoo with a storm threatening, Bob accidentally falls into the gorilla enclosure just as a tornado strikes. So that’s what it’s like to fly. In the storm’s aftermath, Bob proves to everyone (and finally himself) that there is a big heart in that tiny chest…and a brave one too. With this companion, Applegate picks up where her Newbery Medal winner left off, and fans will be overjoyed to ride along in the head of lovable, self-deprecating Bob on his storm-tossed adventure. His wry doggy observations and attitude are pitch perfect (augmented by the canine glossary and Castelao’s picture dictionary of dog postures found in the frontmatter). Gorilla Ivan described Julia as having straight, black hair in the previous title, and Castelao's illustrations in that volume showed her as pale-skinned. (Finished art not available for review.)

With Ivan’s movie out this year from Disney, expect great interest—it will be richly rewarded. (afterword) (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-299131-7

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: March 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

A deftly told story that dramatizes how Danes appointed themselves bodyguards—not only for their king, who was in the habit...

NUMBER THE STARS

The author of the Anastasia books as well as more serious fiction (Rabble Starkey, 1987) offers her first historical fiction—a story about the escape of the Jews from Denmark in 1943.

Five years younger than Lisa in Carol Matas' Lisa's War (1989), Annemarie Johansen has, at 10, known three years of Nazi occupation. Though ever cautious and fearful of the ubiquitous soldiers, she is largely unaware of the extent of the danger around her; the Resistance kept even its participants safer by telling them as little as possible, and Annemarie has never been told that her older sister Lise died in its service. When the Germans plan to round up the Jews, the Johansens take in Annemarie's friend, Ellen Rosen, and pretend she is their daughter; later, they travel to Uncle Hendrik's house on the coast, where the Rosens and other Jews are transported by fishing boat to Sweden. Apart from Lise's offstage death, there is little violence here; like Annemarie, the reader is protected from the full implications of events—but will be caught up in the suspense and menace of several encounters with soldiers and in Annemarie's courageous run as courier on the night of the escape. The book concludes with the Jews' return, after the war, to homes well kept for them by their neighbors.

A deftly told story that dramatizes how Danes appointed themselves bodyguards—not only for their king, who was in the habit of riding alone in Copenhagen, but for their Jews. (Historical fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: April 1, 1989

ISBN: 0547577095

Page Count: 156

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: Oct. 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1989

Did you like this book?

more