Believable and endearing characters in a realistic elementary-school setting will be just the thing for fans of Clementine...

MARTY MCGUIRE

From the Marty McGuire series , Vol. 1

When the promised land of third grade does not pan as promised, Marty McGuire finds herself playing a completely new role.

Mrs. Aloi, her maracas-shaking teacher, is putting together the parts for the class play of The Frog Prince, and she decides that Marty is perfect for the part of the princess. Marty, who prefers learning about frog anatomy to kissing or, worse, throwing a frog, is horrified. She gets little support from her scientist mother or her teacher father—a princess she shall be! On top of this bad news, Marty’s best friend has joined the girly-girl group and does not seem interested in playing outside and pretending to be Jane Goodall anymore. Messner gets all the details of third grade right: the social chasm between the girls who want to be like the older kids and the ones who are still little girls, the Mad Minutes for memorizing arithmetic facts, the silly classroom-control devices teachers use and the energy students of this age put into projects like class plays. Floca’s black-and-white sketches are filled with movement and emotion and are frequent enough to help new chapter-book readers keep up with this longer text.

Believable and endearing characters in a realistic elementary-school setting will be just the thing for fans of Clementine and Ramona. (Fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: May 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-545-14244-1

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2011

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A crowd pleaser in an otherwise crowded oeuvre.

THE SEWER RAT STINK

From the Geronimo Stilton Graphic Novels series , Vol. 1

The ubiquitous rodent journalist returns in a new iteration.

Geronimo Stilton, publisher extraordinaire of the Rodent’s Gazette, has a new story to investigate: New Mouse City is plagued by a deeply malodorous stink. As the stench intensifies, the residents flee, selling their homes. Stilton, flanked by his banana-loving friend Hercule Poirat, forays into the sewers to locate the fount of the funk. There, the duo encounters rat queen Trashfur Sparkles XIII and her Grand Council. Trashfur, the mastermind behind the nefariously noxious plan, has set her sights on wedding Hercule and marrying Geronimo off to one of her council members; how will Geronimo escape this time? This new graphic-novel series published by Graphix/Scholastic (not to be confused with Papercutz’s ongoing Geronimo Stilton, Reporter graphic-novel series) and illustrated by Angleberger (of Origami Yoda fame) utilizes a decidedly more cartoonish style than the Papercutz version, more along the Dav Pilkey aesthetic. Funny and fast-paced, this offering is infused with a generous amount of over-the-top silliness, with occasional breaks to explain jokes to readers (explaining that gorgonzola is a type of cheese, for example). With easy-to-read and varied typefaces and oversized, full-color panels, this should effortlessly appeal to the younger set, making it an obvious choice for those deciding what to read next after Dog Man.

A crowd pleaser in an otherwise crowded oeuvre. (Graphic fantasy. 7-10)

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-338-58730-2

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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WHITE FUR FLYING

A rescued dog saves an unhappy, silent boy in this gentle story about families, fears and courage.

As she did most recently in Waiting for the Magic (2011), Newbery Medalist MacLachlan shows the support that pets can provide. Zoe’s mother fosters abandoned Great Pyrenees dogs. But when Jack, a new dog, runs away, 9-year-old Phillip, a new neighbor, runs after him. He gets lost, but the dog leads him to a barn where they shelter from a night of rain and hail. Phillip’s parents are having problems; he’s staying for a while with a childless aunt and uncle with little experience with children or dogs, and he won’t talk to anyone. Zoe’s family, on the other hand, is close, chatty and compassionate. They care for each other and for their rescued animals: not only the massively shedding white dogs, but also an African grey parrot whose favorite phrase is “You can’t know.” True. There is much you can't know about people and animals both, and much you don’t know, still, after the story ends. Zoe recalls the experience in a narrative occasionally interrupted by ruminative, present-tense glimpses of Zoe with the dogs at night and summed up in her little sister Alice’s concluding journal entry.  The spare prose and extensive dialogue leaves room for the reader’s imagination and sympathy. Beautifully told, quietly moving and completely satisfying. (Fiction. 7-10)  

 

Pub Date: March 19, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4424-2171-4

Page Count: 128

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: Dec. 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2013

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