The sweet storyline, appealing characters and just the right touch of magic make this an endearing series for new,...

READ REVIEW

FELINE CHARM

From the Pocket Cats series , Vol. 3

Maddy Lloyd and her ceramic cats are back, this time solving a problem close to home (Shadow Magic, 2011).

Maddy and Rachel are anxious about the ballet tryouts for The Nutcracker. Their favorite ballerina, Snow Bradley, is going to be the Sugarplum Fairy, and all the girls just know that Maddy will be chosen as Clara. Rachel dances too, but she suffers from such stage fright that it’s clear that she is about to give up—which is a shame, because she is quite a dancer when she is alone. Ollie, the third ceramic cat, soon comes to life. Ollie is all vanity, but he has an author’s gift for dramatic tension, even keeping his mission secret until absolutely necessary. Part of a series, the book’s formula is clear: The tiny cat can switch back and forth from ceramic to flesh, understands the problem and can make humans change their behavior. When Rachel ends up summoning her skills and courage, Maddy has to face the fact that her place as the best dancer in the troupe is no longer secure, and her response almost costs the girls their friendship. The British vocabulary and spelling (practise, tetchily, panto and strop, for instance) add a level of challenge to a book for children just transitioning from beginning readers.

The sweet storyline, appealing characters and just the right touch of magic make this an endearing series for new, cat-loving readers who are ready for a little bit of adventure in their vocabulary. (Fantasy. 7-10)

Pub Date: Nov. 8, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-385-75212-1

Page Count: 208

Publisher: David Fickling/Random

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

MR. POPPER'S PENGUINS

This is rather a silly story, and I don't believe children will think it particularly funny. A paper hanger and painter finds time on his hands in winter, and spends it in reading of arctic exploration. It is all given reality when he receives a present of a penguin, which makes its nest in the refrigerator on cubes of ice, mates with a lonely penguin from the zoo, and produces a family of penguins which help set the Poppers on their feet.

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 1938

ISBN: 978-0-316-05843-8

Page Count: 139

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1938

Did you like this book?

Series fans will enjoy revisiting familiar characters and exploring the island of Cuba with them.

THE MADRE DE AGUAS OF CUBA

From the Unicorn Rescue Society series , Vol. 5

The Unicorn Rescue Society investigates the disappearance of a Cuban sea serpent.

In the fifth series installment, returning protagonists Uchenna and Elliot are in school, learning about water, when Professor Fauna calls them away. As the kids board the professor’s rickety single-propeller plane, they learn where exactly they are heading: Cuba. The island is in the middle of a massive drought, and Professor Fauna has reason to believe that the Madres de aguas (the Mother of Waters) has gone missing. It’s up to the society to find the sea serpent before any more damage is done to the people and wildlife of Cuba. As they set out on their mission of derring-do, they realize that once again they are up against their nemeses, the Schmoke Brothers. Via Yoenis, their Cuban American society liaison, Uchenna, Elliot, and readers learn about the political and economic hardships experienced by the people of Cuba, the island’s lack of basic goods and necessities, and Cuba’s need for real democracy (although the current role of the military is elided). This is conveyed within a quick, fast-paced read that’s ideal for kids who want a straightforward magical adventure. Uchenna is Nigerian, Elliot is white and Jewish, and Professor Fauna is Peruvian.

Series fans will enjoy revisiting familiar characters and exploring the island of Cuba with them. (Fantasy. 8-10)

Pub Date: May 12, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-7352-3142-9

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more