LIBBY LOVES SCIENCE

From the Loves Science series

Sure to inspire real-life experimentation.

Science lover Libby works with classmates to run the science booth at the school festival in this companion to Derting and Johannes’ Cece books, illustrated by Vashti Harrison.

Libby is a black girl who loves experimenting, especially in the kitchen. At school, chemistry is right up her alley. When Mr. Darwin recruits students to run the science booth at the school fair, Libby works with Rosa and Finn to devise experiments that will be exciting enough to compete with the bouncy house. On the day of the festival, they decorate their booth artfully and set up their giant bubbles, slime ingredients, and rocketry supplies, but for a while they are overlooked. The trio manages to attract attention to their experiments, and soon they have a small crowd. Their booth doesn’t win the prize, but their class celebrates anyway with a fun and tasty chemistry experiment. Instructions for all of the science activities are included as notebook-page insets within the story spreads. The diverse characters (Rosa is brown skinned with puffy, red hair, and Finn looks Asian) are accessible and fun. Murray’s bright, cartoon illustrations, patterned after Harrison’s aesthetic, generate excitement around their adventures. While the one-note story falls a bit flat at the end, science lovers will be happy to continue collecting these titles, and the incorporation of well-loved activities like cooking and making slime just may convert science skeptics into science lovers too.

Sure to inspire real-life experimentation. (science facts) (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-294604-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: March 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 10


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • IndieBound Bestseller

DOG MAN

From the Dog Man series , Vol. 1

What a wag.

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 10


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • IndieBound Bestseller

What do you get from sewing the head of a smart dog onto the body of a tough police officer? A new superhero from the incorrigible creator of Captain Underpants.

Finding a stack of old Dog Mancomics that got them in trouble back in first grade, George and Harold decide to craft a set of new(ish) adventures with (more or less) improved art and spelling. These begin with an origin tale (“A Hero Is Unleashed”), go on to a fiendish attempt to replace the chief of police with a “Robo Chief” and then a temporarily successful scheme to make everyone stupid by erasing all the words from every book (“Book ’Em, Dog Man”), and finish off with a sort of attempted alien invasion evocatively titled “Weenie Wars: The Franks Awaken.” In each, Dog Man squares off against baddies (including superinventor/archnemesis Petey the cat) and saves the day with a clever notion. With occasional pauses for Flip-O-Rama featurettes, the tales are all framed in brightly colored sequential panels with hand-lettered dialogue (“How do you feel, old friend?” “Ruff!”) and narrative. The figures are studiously diverse, with police officers of both genders on view and George, the chief, and several other members of the supporting cast colored in various shades of brown. Pilkey closes as customary with drawing exercises, plus a promise that the canine crusader will be further unleashed in a sequel.

What a wag. (Graphic fantasy. 7-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-545-58160-8

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 31, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

CLAYMATES

The dynamic interaction between the characters invites readers to take risks, push boundaries, and have a little unscripted...

Reinvention is the name of the game for two blobs of clay.

A blue-eyed gray blob and a brown-eyed brown blob sit side by side, unsure as to what’s going to happen next. The gray anticipates an adventure, while the brown appears apprehensive. A pair of hands descends, and soon, amid a flurry of squishing and prodding and poking and sculpting, a handsome gray wolf and a stately brown owl emerge. The hands disappear, leaving the friends to their own devices. The owl is pleased, but the wolf convinces it that the best is yet to come. An ear pulled here and an extra eye placed there, and before you can shake a carving stick, a spurt of frenetic self-exploration—expressed as a tangled black scribble—reveals a succession of smug hybrid beasts. After all, the opportunity to become a “pig-e-phant” doesn’t come around every day. But the sound of approaching footsteps panics the pair of Picassos. How are they going to “fix [them]selves” on time? Soon a hippopotamus and peacock are staring bug-eyed at a returning pair of astonished hands. The creative naiveté of the “clay mates” is perfectly captured by Petty’s feisty, spot-on dialogue: “This was your idea…and it was a BAD one.” Eldridge’s endearing sculpted images are photographed against the stark white background of an artist’s work table to great effect.

The dynamic interaction between the characters invites readers to take risks, push boundaries, and have a little unscripted fun of their own . (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 20, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-316-30311-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: March 28, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2017

Close Quickview