Rundell emphasizes unity in diversity in this 21st-century companion to a complicated 19th-century classic.

READ REVIEW

INTO THE JUNGLE

STORIES FOR MOWGLI

In this modern companion to The Jungle Book, the man-cub Mowgli listens to the histories of several original characters—including Raksha, Baloo, and Bagheera—which helps him understand his place in the jungle and among his people.

The collection begins with Father Wolf placing Mowgli between his paws and licking him clean, as he would with any other pup. When Mowgli asks for a story, Father Wolf tells him about Mother Wolf, Raksha, and her encounter with and subsequent escape from the fierce tiger Shere Khan. At the end of the story, Brother Wolf finds Mowgli and tells him that Raksha is looking for him. Mowgli mistakenly assumes he’s in trouble and takes off into the jungle, stopping along the way only to listen to more stories. Rapi the elephant tells Mowgli about Bagheera’s escape from the Maharana’s palace; Akela the wolf tells him how Baloo rescued his father from a group of villagers who had captured the older bear; Kaa the python talks about his experiences with a human snake-charmer. Barring a couple of places where the author has followed Kipling’s lead with an inaccurate translation (Raksha means “to protect” and not “demon”—Raakshas—as the text suggests), her follow-up makes for an engaging read, as Mowgli develops from a rather self-centered child to one who cares about his extended jungle family. Rundell’s values-based narrative and Williams’ earthy images reinforce the importance of different species’ understanding one another and working together.

Rundell emphasizes unity in diversity in this 21st-century companion to a complicated 19th-century classic. (Fantasy. 8-11)

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0527-5

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Walker US/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 14, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2018

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This kid-friendly satire ably sets claws into a certain real-life franchise.

BAD KITTY GOES ON VACATION

From the Bad Kitty (chapter book) series

A trip to the Love Love Angel Kitty World theme park (“The Most Super Incredibly Happy Place on Earth!”) turns out to be an exercise in lowered expectations…to say the least.

When Uncle Murray wins a pair of free passes it seems at first like a dream come true—at least for Kitty, whose collection of Love Love Kitty merch ranges from branded underwear to a pink chainsaw. But the whole trip turns into a series of crises beginning with the (as it turns out) insuperable challenge of getting a cat onto an airplane, followed by the twin discoveries that the hotel room doesn’t come with a litter box and that the park doesn’t allow cats. Even kindhearted Uncle Murray finds his patience, not to say sanity, tested by extreme sticker shock in the park’s gift shop and repeated exposures to Kitty World’s literally nauseating theme song (notation included). He is not happy. Fortunately, the whole cloying enterprise being a fiendish plot to make people so sick of cats that they’ll pick poultry as favorite pets instead, the revelation of Kitty’s feline identity puts the all-chicken staff to flight and leaves the financial coffers plucked. Uncle Murray’s White, dumpy, middle-aged figure is virtually the only human one among an otherwise all-animal cast in Bruel’s big, rapidly sequenced, and properly comical cartoon panels.

This kid-friendly satire ably sets claws into a certain real-life franchise. (Graphic satire. 8-11)

Pub Date: Dec. 29, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-20808-8

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2020

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A dramatic, educational, authentic whale of a tale.

A WHALE OF THE WILD

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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