This agreeable story may well send its readers in search of the classic that was its inspiration.

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WELCOME HOME!

From the Marguerite Henry's Misty Inn series , Vol. 1

A new chapter-book series builds on the familiar world of Marguerite Henry’s Misty of Chincoteague (1947).

When their family moves to the Virginia shore, Willa and Ben get a longed-for pet, New Cat, help a pony adapt to its new home on their grandmother’s farm, and find new friends. This first title sets the stage, introducing the characters and setting in today’s Chincoteague, where the Dunlaps hope to open a restaurant and bed-and-breakfast. The move is difficult for both children; quiet Ben is shy, and Willa misses her friends. Sarah, a neighbor, seems standoffish, at first. Starbuck, born on Assateague Island across the channel and purchased at the annual pony auction by its previous owner, is not yet ready to be placed with the other ponies on their grandparents’ farm, so the two children spend a lot of time with her. Earhart, author of two previous series about horses, Big Apple Barn and Breyer Stablemates, is comfortable providing the details of horse care young readers enjoy. Her gentle, third-person narrative is written in short paragraphs with plenty of dialogue. There will be frequent illustrations (final art not seen) and Misty Inn sequels to come; Volume 2, Buttercup Mystery, publishes simultaneously.

This agreeable story may well send its readers in search of the classic that was its inspiration. (Fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: June 16, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4814-1414-2

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Aladdin

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2015

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Sweetly low-key and totally accessible.

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THE YEAR OF BILLY MILLER

Billy Miller’s second-grade year is quietly spectacular in a wonderfully ordinary way.

Billy’s year begins with his worry over the lump on his head, a souvenir of a dramatic summer fall onto concrete: Will he be up to the challenges his new teacher promises in her letter to students? Quickly overshadowing that worry, however, is a diplomatic crisis over whether he has somehow offended Ms. Silver on the first day of school. Four sections—Teacher, Father, Sister and Mother—offer different and essential focal points for Billy’s life, allowing both him and readers to explore several varieties of creative endeavor, small adventures, and, especially, both challenges and successful problem-solving. The wonderfully self-possessed Sal, his 3-year-old sister, is to Billy much as Ramona is to Beezus, but without the same level of tension. Her pillowcase full of the plush yellow whales she calls the Drop Sisters (Raindrop, Gumdrop, etc.) is a memorable prop. Henkes offers what he so often does in these longer works for children: a sense that experiences don’t have to be extraordinary to be important and dramatic. Billy’s slightly dreamy interior life isn’t filled with either angst or boisterous silliness—rather, the moments that appear in these stories are clarifying bits of the universal larger puzzle of growing up, changing and understanding the world. Small, precise black-and-white drawings punctuate and decorate the pages.

Sweetly low-key and totally accessible. (Fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-06-226812-9

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Greenwillow

Review Posted Online: April 24, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2013

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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

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