Will leave readers eager to…GO AGAIN! (Informational fantasy. 7-10)



From the Albert Hopper, Science Hero series , Vol. 1

A ground-shaking, pulse-pounding journey to the Earth’s core and back (with a few side trips along the way).

In typically grandiloquent tones—“We shall be…WORMING TO the CENTER OF THE EARTH!”—froggy explorer Albert Hopper invites Junior Science Heroes (and niece and nephew) Polly and Tad on a voyage of danger and discovery aboard aptly named mechanical drill Wiggles. Though Tad’s inability to leave the onboard “Anything Can Happen” button alone results in time travel, an encounter with prehistoric cavefrogs (“We shall explore this…UNEXPLORED CAVERN!”), and other unexpected twists, the trip also features plenty of basic natural science. The travelers go from crustal plates to core (“The inner core is nearly…TEN THOUSAND DEGREES!”), up and down a volcano’s lava tubes, and through an earthquake. Meanwhile Hopper or know-it-all Polly discourse on topics geological, from plate tectonics and the three types of rocks to cratons. Thick-lined cartoon vignettes with green highlights on nearly every page capture the comical turns better than they do the science, but along with tucking in the occasional rudimentary chart or poster, Himmelman backs up the factual content with summary notes from both Junior Science Heroes at the end. For an equally rousing but visually richer dive into the depths, follow up with Jon Chad’s Leo Geo and His Miraculous Journey Through the Center of the Earth (2012).

Will leave readers eager to…GO AGAIN! (Informational fantasy. 7-10)

Pub Date: May 19, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-23016-4

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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This is rather a silly story, and I don't believe children will think it particularly funny. A paper hanger and painter finds time on his hands in winter, and spends it in reading of arctic exploration. It is all given reality when he receives a present of a penguin, which makes its nest in the refrigerator on cubes of ice, mates with a lonely penguin from the zoo, and produces a family of penguins which help set the Poppers on their feet.

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 1938

ISBN: 978-0-316-05843-8

Page Count: 139

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1938

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Even a brush with death (or a bad tooth) can’t reform this Bad Kitty. Good thing. We’d miss her! (Graphic/nonfiction hybrid....


From the Bad Kitty (chapter book) series

Bad Kitty isn’t eating? It must be a sign of the apocalypse…or worse.

Bad Kitty once ate a meatloaf the size of a car in 5 minutes, so if she’s not eating, something must be horribly wrong. It’s time for a visit to the vet—wait, where’d Bad Kitty go? First task: find the kitty. Then don the riot gear to get her into her cat carrier. When the vet (who knows just how to handle her) knocks Bad Kitty out with a shot, she visits the (kitty) Pearly Gates, where the feline St. Peter tells her she tormented Puppy too much to pass through. She’s given one day to do something nice for Puppy, or she will be sent to Puppydog Paradise (which is far from idyllic for cats). Can Bad Kitty rescue her afterlife with a kind act for her drooling nemesis? Is it all just a dream? After the homage to Looney Tunes that was Bad Kitty Drawn to Trouble (2014), Bruel gives an appreciative nod to Tom and Jerry; it’s a lagniappe that Bad Kitty’s mobs of young fans may not notice, though their adults will probably get a few chuckles. Kids will just enjoy Uncle Murray’s fun facts (all about cat health and visits to the vet this time, of course) and Bad Kitty’s ornery behavior; both are as entertaining as ever.

Even a brush with death (or a bad tooth) can’t reform this Bad Kitty. Good thing. We’d miss her! (Graphic/nonfiction hybrid. 7-10)

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-59643-977-1

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Neal Porter/Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: Oct. 6, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2015

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