Though open adoptions have become more common, they are still not the majority; this is more a single family’s adoption...

WONDERFUL YOU

AN ADOPTION STORY

A birth mother searches for the right parents for her unborn child in this story narrated by the adoptive mother.

“She looked north. She looked south. She traveled the world, / asking, ‘Who’ll be the parents of this beautiful girl? / I will sail by the moon and the stars till I find / a home for my girl that is loving and kind, / with a soft, cushioned bed and a teddy named Boo. // Nothing less than the best for Wonderful You.’ ” In a house by the sea, a loving couple awaits, but the birth mother must make sure they are just right. (The artwork here is slightly disturbing: the adoptive mother stretches out her arms toward the birth mother, who is riding on a crescent moon and hugging her pregnant belly; her expression looks shocked, almost as if her babe is being taken away.) After entrusting the baby to the adoptive parents, the birth mother rides a bird back home, and the tale turns to the new family and all that the future holds. The verses border on saccharine, and the rhyme scheme governs both word choice and syntax, making the text a challenge to read aloud. The artwork matches the flights of fancy with watercolor swirls and blotches, but the faces (all pale-skinned) are off-putting, not sweet or loving.

Though open adoptions have become more common, they are still not the majority; this is more a single family’s adoption story than one that speaks to all adopted children. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: April 25, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-553-51001-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: March 20, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2017

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PUG BLASTS OFF

From the Diary of a Pug series , Vol. 1

A cuddly, squishy pug’s puggy-wuggy diary.

Equipped with both #pugunicorn and #pughotdog outfits, pug Baron von Bubbles (aka Bub) is the kind of dog that always dresses to impress. Bub also makes lots of memorable faces, such as the “Hey, you’re not the boss of me!” expression aimed at Duchess, the snooty pink house cat. Some of Bub’s favorite things include skateboarding, a favorite teddy, and eating peanut butter. Bub also loves Bella, who adopted Bub from a fair—it was “love at first sniff.” Together, Bub and Bella do a lot of arts and crafts. Their latest project: entering Bella’s school’s inventor challenge by making a super-duper awesome rocket. But, when the pesky neighborhood squirrel, Nutz, makes off with Bub’s bear, Bub accidentally ruins their project. How will they win the contest? More importantly, how will Bella ever forgive him? May’s cutesy, full-color cartoon art sets the tone for this pug-tastic romp for the new-to–chapter-books crowd. Emojilike faces accentuate Bub’s already expressive character design. Bub’s infectious first-person narration pushes the silly factor off the charts. In addition to creating the look and feel of a diary, the lined paper helps readers follow the eight-chapter story. Most pages have fewer than five sentences, often broken into smaller sections. Additional text appears in color-coded speech bubbles. Bella presents white.

Totes adorbs. (Fiction. 5-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-53003-2

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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A strong, accessible diary story for readers seeking an adorable animal tale.

PUG'S SNOW DAY

From the Diary of a Pug series , Vol. 2

Bub the anxious pug tackles snow days and new neighbors in his second outing.

Bub, acclaimed by some as “the cutest pug on the planet,” at first shares the enthusiasm owner Bella expresses about snow days even though he doesn’t know what they are. Then Duchess the cat (mildly antagonistic, in typical feline fashion) rains on Bub’s parade by pointing out that snow is water—and Bub’s no fan of rain or baths. After a comedic and disastrous first attempt, Bub learns how to properly dress for snow and enjoy it. The outdoor fun’s cut short by mysterious noises coming from the new neighbor, which frighten Bella into thinking there’s a monster. Bub puts on a Sherlock Holmes get-up to investigate but becomes afraid himself of the new neighbor’s large dog. Finally, Bella meets Jack, who’s been working on a tree fort, and his dog, Luna, who is enthusiastically friendly. The story ends on a positive note, as they all happily work together on the fort. The full-color cartoon illustrations, especially of Bub, are adorably expressive and certain to please the age group. The generous font and format—short, diary-entry paragraphs and speech-bubble conversations—create a quick pace. Bub’s stylized emoji bubbles return and are most hilarious when used to express his nervous flatulence. Bella and Jack both present white.

A strong, accessible diary story for readers seeking an adorable animal tale. (Fantasy. 5-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-53006-3

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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