A tale gently told of finding our inner strengths.

CARLOTA WOULDN'T SAY BOO

From the Somos8 series

Once upon a short time ago, there was a girl named Carlota who had a unique power: everyone understood her just from her gestures and glances.

So this Spanish import’s fair-skinned protagonist never talks—until one day, she needs to. Carlota's power of communicating without talking works when she's hungry; when she's on the playground and doesn't feel like running anymore or wants to play a new game; and even in the classroom when her teacher asks a question. (Like Carlota, her classmates, teacher, and family all present as white.) But one day she accidentally gets locked into the pantry, with only jars, cans, pots, and a broomstick with bristles full of fluff. As Carlota realizes her communication method will not work on these inanimate objects, she must overcome her fear and try something she has never done before: talk! The whimsical, tongue-in-cheek narration asks readers questions (“Are you ready to know?”) and adds little asides (“Yes, I know I have already said this, but...”), making readers feel the story is being told just to them. Urberuaga's simply drawn illustrations, heavily outlined in black and using a richly saturated palette, perfectly complement the charm and humor of the story. Readers will want to watch out for Tom the mouse, Carlota's friend, and his antics while Carlota is locked in the pantry.

A tale gently told of finding our inner strengths. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: June 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-84-942929-5-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: nubeOCHO

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2016

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PUG BLASTS OFF

From the Diary of a Pug series , Vol. 1

A cuddly, squishy pug’s puggy-wuggy diary.

Equipped with both #pugunicorn and #pughotdog outfits, pug Baron von Bubbles (aka Bub) is the kind of dog that always dresses to impress. Bub also makes lots of memorable faces, such as the “Hey, you’re not the boss of me!” expression aimed at Duchess, the snooty pink house cat. Some of Bub’s favorite things include skateboarding, a favorite teddy, and eating peanut butter. Bub also loves Bella, who adopted Bub from a fair—it was “love at first sniff.” Together, Bub and Bella do a lot of arts and crafts. Their latest project: entering Bella’s school’s inventor challenge by making a super-duper awesome rocket. But, when the pesky neighborhood squirrel, Nutz, makes off with Bub’s bear, Bub accidentally ruins their project. How will they win the contest? More importantly, how will Bella ever forgive him? May’s cutesy, full-color cartoon art sets the tone for this pug-tastic romp for the new-to–chapter-books crowd. Emojilike faces accentuate Bub’s already expressive character design. Bub’s infectious first-person narration pushes the silly factor off the charts. In addition to creating the look and feel of a diary, the lined paper helps readers follow the eight-chapter story. Most pages have fewer than five sentences, often broken into smaller sections. Additional text appears in color-coded speech bubbles. Bella presents white.

Totes adorbs. (Fiction. 5-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-53003-2

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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A strong, accessible diary story for readers seeking an adorable animal tale.

PUG'S SNOW DAY

From the Diary of a Pug series , Vol. 2

Bub the anxious pug tackles snow days and new neighbors in his second outing.

Bub, acclaimed by some as “the cutest pug on the planet,” at first shares the enthusiasm owner Bella expresses about snow days even though he doesn’t know what they are. Then Duchess the cat (mildly antagonistic, in typical feline fashion) rains on Bub’s parade by pointing out that snow is water—and Bub’s no fan of rain or baths. After a comedic and disastrous first attempt, Bub learns how to properly dress for snow and enjoy it. The outdoor fun’s cut short by mysterious noises coming from the new neighbor, which frighten Bella into thinking there’s a monster. Bub puts on a Sherlock Holmes get-up to investigate but becomes afraid himself of the new neighbor’s large dog. Finally, Bella meets Jack, who’s been working on a tree fort, and his dog, Luna, who is enthusiastically friendly. The story ends on a positive note, as they all happily work together on the fort. The full-color cartoon illustrations, especially of Bub, are adorably expressive and certain to please the age group. The generous font and format—short, diary-entry paragraphs and speech-bubble conversations—create a quick pace. Bub’s stylized emoji bubbles return and are most hilarious when used to express his nervous flatulence. Bella and Jack both present white.

A strong, accessible diary story for readers seeking an adorable animal tale. (Fantasy. 5-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-53006-3

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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