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SHORT & SWEET

From the Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast series , Vol. 4

The quality remains consistently high for this series, linking edibles and emotions with excitement and ease.

A technological treatment goes awry for these fan favorites, creating monstrously good fun.

When Sir French Toast and Lady Pancake start to turn green with decay (gasp!), a new treatment offered by Professor Biscotti malfunctions, turning them into children. Baron von Waffle, their enemy-turned-friend from previous episodes, is struck with remorse for recommending the procedure and tampering with nature. But the shrunken versions of Toast and Pancake do not remember him. Thinking he is a monster, they run away over various obstacles made of other foods. In this fourth installment of the adventures of these clever fridge friends, the syncopated text shines, building the suspense and pace with rhyming couplets. The illustrations continue their gastronomic creativity, with Fjords of Farfalle and Bran Canyons and buildings created out of everyday foodstuffs for each picture. In the end, Waffle cooks up a sweet solution for returning the shrunken Toast and Pancake to normal. The underlying theme about fixing problems one has created is subtle, and forgiveness reigns among the entire royal cast. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10-by-20-inch double-page spreads viewed at 30.3% of actual size.)

The quality remains consistently high for this series, linking edibles and emotions with excitement and ease. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4549-3427-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2020

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  • Kirkus Reviews'
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  • New York Times Bestseller


  • IndieBound Bestseller


  • Caldecott Honor

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KNIGHT OWL

A charming blend of whimsy and medieval heroism highlighting the triumph of brains over brawn.

Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
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  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2022


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • IndieBound Bestseller


  • Caldecott Honor

A young owl achieves his grand ambition.

Owl, an adorably earnest and gallant little owlet, dreams of being a knight. He imagines himself defeating dragons and winning favor far and wide through his brave exploits. When a record number of knights go missing, Owl applies to Knight School and is surprisingly accepted. He is much smaller than the other knights-in-training, struggles to wield weapons, and has “a habit of nodding off during the day.” Nevertheless, he graduates and is assigned to the Knight Night Watch. While patrolling the castle walls one night, a hungry dragon shows up and Owl must use his wits to avoid meeting a terrible end. The result is both humorous and heartwarming, offering an affirmation of courage and clear thinking no matter one’s size…and demonstrating the power of a midnight snack. The story never directly addresses the question of the missing knights, but it is hinted that they became the dragon’s fodder, leaving readers to question Owl’s decision to befriend the beast. Humor is supplied by the characters’ facial expressions and accented by the fact that Owl is the only animal in his order of big, burly human knights. Denise’s accomplished digital illustrations—many of which are full bleeds—often use a warm sepia palette that evokes a feeling of antiquity, and some spreads feature a pleasing play of chiaroscuro that creates suspense and drama.

A charming blend of whimsy and medieval heroism highlighting the triumph of brains over brawn. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 15, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-316-31062-8

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Christy Ottaviano Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 15, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2022

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CAPTAIN AWESOME TO THE RESCUE!

From the Captain Awesome series , Vol. 1

As Captain Awesome would say, this kid is “MI-TEE!” (Fiction. 5-8)

The town of Sunnyview got a little bit safer when 8-year-old Eugene McGillicudy moved in.

Just like his comic-book mentor, Super Dude, Eugene, aka Captain Awesome, is on a one-man mission is to save the world from supervillains, like the nefarious “Queen Stinkypants from Planet Baby.” Just as Eugene suspected, plenty of new supervillains await him at Sunnyview Elementary. Are Meredith Mooney and the mind-reading Ms. Beasley secretly working together to try and force Eugene to reveal his secret identity? Will Principal Brick Foot succeed in throwing Captain Awesome into the “Dungeon of Detention?” Fortunately, Eugene isn’t forced to go it alone. Charlie Thomas Jones, fellow comic-book lover and Super Dude fan, stands ready and willing to help. When the class hamster goes missing, Captain Awesome must don his cape and, with the help of his new best friend, ride to the rescue. Kirby’s funny and engaging third-person narration and O’Connor’s hilarious illustrations make the book easily accessible and enormously appealing, particularly to readers who have recently graduated to chapter books. But it is the quirky, mischievous Eugene that really makes this book special. His energy and humor are contagious, and his dogged commitment to his superhero alter ego is enough to make anyone a believer.  

As Captain Awesome would say, this kid is “MI-TEE!” (Fiction. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 3, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4424-4090-6

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 17, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2012

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