New readers ready for a challenge and some laughs will welcome more characters from Deckawoo Drive.

FRANCINE POULET MEETS THE GHOST RACCOON

From the Tales from Deckawoo Drive series , Vol. 2

Francine Poulet, the laconic and intrepid animal control officer of Gizzford County, is having a crisis of confidence.

Even though she has won 47 trophies for animal catching and hails from a long line of animal control officers, nothing can prepare her for her encounter with one very unusual and creepy raccoon. Mrs. Bissinger has reported a raccoon that shimmers like a ghost and screeches her name. But Francine’s father always said she was solid and down-to-earth, and she refuses to believe in a talking ghost raccoon. When Francine faces the screaming critter, however, it screams “Frannnnnnnnnnnyyyyy!”—the name only her father called her. She is so spooked she panics, grabbing the raccoon almost by accident and falling three stories off the roof, injuring both her body and her confidence. Only by facing her fears can Francine truly call herself a Poulet once again. Exaggerated illustrations are filled with the energy and humor warmly familiar to readers of the Mercy Watson series. This relatively longer format allows DiCamillo to create more complex secondary characters, who add much to the story. The dreamy conversation between solid Francine and her deceased father adds a needed touch of seriousness to the comic premise.

New readers ready for a challenge and some laughs will welcome more characters from Deckawoo Drive. (Fiction. 6-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 25, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6886-0

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 18, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A fitting farewell, still funny, acute, and positive in its view of human nature even in its 37th episode.

HORRIBLE HARRY SAYS GOODBYE

From the Horrible Harry series , Vol. 37

A long-running series reaches its closing chapters.

Having, as Kline notes in her warm valedictory acknowledgements, taken 30 years to get through second and third grade, Harry Spooger is overdue to move on—but not just into fourth grade, it turns out, as his family is moving to another town as soon as the school year ends. The news leaves his best friend, narrator “Dougo,” devastated…particularly as Harry doesn’t seem all that fussed about it. With series fans in mind, the author takes Harry through a sort of last-day-of-school farewell tour. From his desk he pulls a burned hot dog and other items that featured in past episodes, says goodbye to Song Lee and other classmates, and even (for the first time ever) leads Doug and readers into his house and memento-strewn room for further reminiscing. Of course, Harry isn’t as blasé about the move as he pretends, and eyes aren’t exactly dry when he departs. But hardly is he out of sight before Doug is meeting Mohammad, a new neighbor from Syria who (along with further diversifying a cast that began as mostly white but has become increasingly multiethnic over the years) will also be starting fourth grade at summer’s end, and planning a written account of his “horrible” buddy’s exploits. Finished illustrations not seen.

A fitting farewell, still funny, acute, and positive in its view of human nature even in its 37th episode. (Fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: Nov. 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-451-47963-1

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Sept. 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends

WAITING IS NOT EASY!

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Gerald the elephant learns a truth familiar to every preschooler—heck, every human: “Waiting is not easy!”

When Piggie cartwheels up to Gerald announcing that she has a surprise for him, Gerald is less than pleased to learn that the “surprise is a surprise.” Gerald pumps Piggie for information (it’s big, it’s pretty, and they can share it), but Piggie holds fast on this basic principle: Gerald will have to wait. Gerald lets out an almighty “GROAN!” Variations on this basic exchange occur throughout the day; Gerald pleads, Piggie insists they must wait; Gerald groans. As the day turns to twilight (signaled by the backgrounds that darken from mauve to gray to charcoal), Gerald gets grumpy. “WE HAVE WASTED THE WHOLE DAY!…And for WHAT!?” Piggie then gestures up to the Milky Way, which an awed Gerald acknowledges “was worth the wait.” Willems relies even more than usual on the slightest of changes in posture, layout and typography, as two waiting figures can’t help but be pretty static. At one point, Piggie assumes the lotus position, infuriating Gerald. Most amusingly, Gerald’s elephantine groans assume weighty physicality in spread-filling speech bubbles that knock Piggie to the ground. And the spectacular, photo-collaged images of the Milky Way that dwarf the two friends makes it clear that it was indeed worth the wait.

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends . (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9957-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

more