The unusually weighty plot occasionally clashes with the familiar outrageous puns and potty humor, but series fans will be...



From the Bolds series , Vol. 4

The Bolds rescue an endangered victim of anti-fox bias; turns out, there’s a downside.

Someone’s stealing food from the anthropomorphic hyenas’ cheerfully chaotic household. Suspicion falls first on family, then their students learning to pass for human: Craig, the wild boar and aspiring (nonalcoholic) craft-brewery entrepreneur; Paulina, the otter with a religious vocation; and Snappy, the goose and likely future traffic cop. The scent of fox reveals the culprit. Human neighbors, also victims, call a meeting and, opposed only by the Bolds, vote to hire a catch-and-release service to remove the fox (extermination’s the true plan). Concern for their fellow wildlife leads the Bolds to concoct a daring rescue, but the human-hating fox thief, Mossy, (both his grannies were killed in fox hunts) rejects their help. Sylvie, Mossy’s meek vixen companion, can’t change his mind. The Bolds are “a disgrace to their own kind,” Mossy sneers. Then disaster strikes. Rescued but ungrateful, Mossy’s the houseguest from hell, ruthlessly bullying his kindly hosts. With Clary sounding heavy themes (bias, bullying, animals and humans behaving badly), Roberts’ unparalleled illustrations, crafting endearing eccentrics from a seamless blend of human and animal traits, add needed buoyancy. Devout Paulina, menacing Mossy, and indignant Snappy are standouts, like the hyenas, again collapsing in hysterics over Mr. Bold’s appalling jokes.

The unusually weighty plot occasionally clashes with the familiar outrageous puns and potty humor, but series fans will be more than satisfied. (Animal fantasy. 7-10)

Pub Date: May 7, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5415-0045-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Carolrhoda

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

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A dramatic, educational, authentic whale of a tale.


After a tsunami devastates their habitat in the Salish Sea, a young orca and her brother embark on a remarkable adventure.

Vega’s matriarchal family expects her to become a hunter and wayfinder, with her younger brother, Deneb, protecting and supporting her. Invited to guide her family to their Gathering Place to hunt salmon, Vega’s underwater miscalculations endanger them all, and an embarrassed Vega questions whether she should be a wayfinder. When the baby sister she hoped would become her life companion is stillborn, a distraught Vega carries the baby away to a special resting place, shocking her grieving family. Dispatched to find his missing sister, Deneb locates Vega in the midst of a terrible tsunami. To escape the waters polluted by shattered boats, Vega leads Deneb into unfamiliar open sea. Alone and hungry, the young siblings encounter a spectacular giant whale and travel briefly with shark-hunting orcas. Trusting her instincts and gaining emotional strength from contemplating the vastness of the sky, Vega knows she must lead her brother home and help save her surviving family. In alternating first-person voices, Vega and Deneb tell their harrowing story, engaging young readers while educating them about the marine ecosystem. Realistic black-and-white illustrations enhance the maritime setting.

A dramatic, educational, authentic whale of a tale. (maps, wildlife facts, tribes of the Salish Sea watershed, environmental and geographical information, how to help orcas, author’s note, artist’s note, resources) (Animal fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-299592-6

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: July 1, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 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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