Robot Zot invades Earth, vowing to destroy all earthly enemies—mostly kitchen appliances, as Zot measures a whopping four inches high. Scieszka and Shannon combine forces to deliver an hilarious, action-packed picture book characterized by grandiose face-offs, monosyllabic robot rants and wham-bam-boom pacing. Boys finally get the unadulterated action, hyperbolic humor and punchy language (Zot challenges, Zot blasts, Zot scans!) they love. Boys and girls will giggle as the little robot misinterprets a familiar world, the suburban home, calling the toaster the “Earth’s shiny Captain” and a baby’s toy phone “the Queen of all Earth.” They will identify with the diminutive droid as he alters the scope of everyday surroundings. The kitchen morphs into a vast battlefield, the backyard into a beast-infested wilderness. The vibrant illustrations capture Zot’s skewed perspective and misguided heroics in freeze-frame shots. Bright oranges, reds and yellows dominate the otherwise metallic palette and provide tough colors for tough kids. Sophisticated comedy, challenging vocabulary and pithy writing offer undetectable, beneficial learning opportunities, like zucchini hidden in a yummy cupcake. Must...Have...Robot...Zot! (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 2009

ISBN: 978-1-4169-6394-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2009

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A jam-packed opener sure to satisfy lovers of the princess genre.


From the Diary of an Ice Princess series

Ice princess Lina must navigate family and school in this early chapter read.

The family picnic is today. This is not a typical gathering, since Lina’s maternal relatives are a royal family of Windtamers who have power over the weather and live in castles floating on clouds. Lina herself is mixed race, with black hair and a tan complexion like her Asian-presenting mother’s; her Groundling father appears to be a white human. While making a grand entrance at the castle of her grandfather, the North Wind, she fails to successfully ride a gust of wind and crashes in front of her entire family. This prompts her stern grandfather to ask that Lina move in with him so he can teach her to control her powers. Desperate to avoid this, Lina and her friend Claudia, who is black, get Lina accepted at the Hilltop Science and Arts Academy. Lina’s parents allow her to go as long as she does lessons with grandpa on Saturdays. However, fitting in at a Groundling school is rough, especially when your powers start freak winter storms! With the story unfurling in diary format, bright-pink–highlighted grayscale illustrations help move the plot along. There are slight gaps in the storytelling and the pacing is occasionally uneven, but Lina is full of spunk and promotes self-acceptance.

A jam-packed opener sure to satisfy lovers of the princess genre. (Fantasy. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 25, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-35393-8

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

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A nursery school approach to a general concept. "A tree is nice"- Why? Because..."We can climb the pirate ship...pick the playhouses out of the leaves. A tree is nice to hang a swing in...Birds build nests in trees... Sticks come off trees...People have picnics there too"...etc. etc. One follows the give and take of a shared succession of reactions to what a tree- or trees- can mean. There is a kind of poetic simplicity that is innate in small children. Marc Simont has made the pictures, half in full color, and they too have a childlike directness (with an underlying sophistication that adults will recognize). Not a book for everyone -but those who like it will like it immensely. The format (6 x 11) makes it a difficult book for shelving, so put it in the "clean hands" section of flat books. Here's your first book for Arbor Day use- a good spring and summer item.

Pub Date: June 15, 1956

ISBN: 978-0-06-443147-7

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Harper

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1956

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