Monster and dino lovers alike will enjoy the foolishness.

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MONSTERS ON THE RUN

From the Yeti Files series , Vol. 2

Yeti Blizz and his cryptid cronies are back for more adventure.

After finding his sasquatch cousin Brian, in Meet the Bigfeet (2014), Blizz and his friends are kicking back and playing games. However, their cryptid buddy Vanessa—Nessie—is feeling lonely, and she's thinking about leaving the loch. Blizz knows that might endanger her. Since Jack Saturday the unicorn isn't answering Blizz's calls, Blizz and friends head to Loch Ness on their bikes, and Nessie demonstrates her loneliness—all the denizens of the loch have companions but her. Elf Alex discovers she's a plesiosaur, and the friends decide to seek the help of Tobin Clover, a leprechaun. Tobin takes them back in time with the magic of the rainbow, but the friends are separated in a hasty escape from a T. Rex. Frank the arctic fox makes a dino friend, Nessie and Blizz meet more plesiosaurs, imp Gunthar and Alex run afoul of a triceratops...and Nessie decides she likes the present better. On their return, Tobin has a great surprise for Nessie, and the cryptids receive a call for help from the merfolk! Sherry's second yeti tale imparts a bit of dino info in its labeled black-and-white illustrations, which mix pages with a sentence or two of text with comic-style panels. The frenetic adventure’s as much fun as it is nonsensical. Be warned: read the first adventure before tackling this one, as there are no character introductions and no background info on cryptozoological society.

Monster and dino lovers alike will enjoy the foolishness. (Graphic/fantasy hybrid. 5-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-55619-4

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 12, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2015

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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

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Cool beans indeed.

THE COOL BEAN

A supposed “has-bean” shows that coolness has more to do with deeds than demeanor.

Offering further moral instruction in this leguminous cousin to The Bad Seed (2017) and The Good Egg (2019), Oswald portrays three beans—each a different species but all sporting boss shades, fly threads, and that requisite air of nonchalance—bringing the cool to streets, hallways, playgrounds, and Leguma Beach. Meanwhile, a fourth (a scraggly-haired chickpea), whose efforts to echo the look and the ’tude have fallen flat, takes on the role of nerdy narrator to recall “olden days” when they all hung out in the same pod. Still, despite rolling separate ways (nobody’s fault: “That’s just how it is sometimes. You spend less time together, even though you’re not totally sure why”), when the uncool bean drops a lunch tray, skins a kid knee on the playground, or just needs a hint in class, one of the others is always on the scene toot suite. No biggie. And passing those casual acts of kindness forward? “Now that’s cool.” John’s good-hearted text makes some hay with the bean puns while Oswald’s pipe-stemmed limbs, googly eyes, and accessories give these anthropomorphic legumes lots of personality. As a fava to young audiences, pair with Jamie Michalak and Frank Kolar’s Frank and Bean (2019) for a musical combination.

Cool beans indeed. (Picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Dec. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-295452-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019

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