A light, gentle chapter book about helping others.


From the Fairy Animals series , Vol. 1

In a magical land populated by fairy animals, a kitten helps a lost baby mouse.

Chloe is one of the Cobweb Kittens, fairy cats in charge of collecting dewdrops from a magical spring during the sunrise and using them to decorate cobwebs and make Misty Wood beautiful. When Chloe oversleeps, she misses her breakfast. On her way to the spring, she stops for a drink at Moonshine Pond (presumably nothing stronger than water) and accidentally leaves her dewdrop basket behind. Luckily, a helpful Stardust Squirrel at the spring fashions a new basket, just in time for dewdrop collection. But while Chloe decorates her webs, the dewdrops vanish behind her. She discovers a thirsty baby Moss Mouse, separated from his parents and lapping up her dewdrops. Remembering the helpful squirrel, Chloe sets her work aside to find the mouse’s family. A verbal misunderstanding (the mouse says he lives next to lions, when actually he means dandelions) leads the duo from helpful animal to helpful animal on their search for the mouse’s home. After the successful completion of her quest, Chloe returns to cobweb-decorating with the help of the grateful mice. The saccharine-sweet illustrations occasionally have odd proportions, but the sparkles, rainbows and abundant fairy wings on cuddly animals will enchant animal-loving girly-girls. Previously published overseas, this series starter will release simultaneously with Book 2, Bella the Bunny.

A light, gentle chapter book about helping others. (activities) (Fantasy. 5-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-62779-141-0

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2014

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Hee haw.

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The print version of a knee-slapping cumulative ditty.

In the song, Smith meets a donkey on the road. It is three-legged, and so a “wonky donkey” that, on further examination, has but one eye and so is a “winky wonky donkey” with a taste for country music and therefore a “honky-tonky winky wonky donkey,” and so on to a final characterization as a “spunky hanky-panky cranky stinky-dinky lanky honky-tonky winky wonky donkey.” A free musical recording (of this version, anyway—the author’s website hints at an adults-only version of the song) is available from the publisher and elsewhere online. Even though the book has no included soundtrack, the sly, high-spirited, eye patch–sporting donkey that grins, winks, farts, and clumps its way through the song on a prosthetic metal hoof in Cowley’s informal watercolors supplies comical visual flourishes for the silly wordplay. Look for ready guffaws from young audiences, whether read or sung, though those attuned to disability stereotypes may find themselves wincing instead or as well.

Hee haw. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-545-26124-1

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 29, 2018

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A jam-packed opener sure to satisfy lovers of the princess genre.


From the Diary of an Ice Princess series

Ice princess Lina must navigate family and school in this early chapter read.

The family picnic is today. This is not a typical gathering, since Lina’s maternal relatives are a royal family of Windtamers who have power over the weather and live in castles floating on clouds. Lina herself is mixed race, with black hair and a tan complexion like her Asian-presenting mother’s; her Groundling father appears to be a white human. While making a grand entrance at the castle of her grandfather, the North Wind, she fails to successfully ride a gust of wind and crashes in front of her entire family. This prompts her stern grandfather to ask that Lina move in with him so he can teach her to control her powers. Desperate to avoid this, Lina and her friend Claudia, who is black, get Lina accepted at the Hilltop Science and Arts Academy. Lina’s parents allow her to go as long as she does lessons with grandpa on Saturdays. However, fitting in at a Groundling school is rough, especially when your powers start freak winter storms! With the story unfurling in diary format, bright-pink–highlighted grayscale illustrations help move the plot along. There are slight gaps in the storytelling and the pacing is occasionally uneven, but Lina is full of spunk and promotes self-acceptance.

A jam-packed opener sure to satisfy lovers of the princess genre. (Fantasy. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 25, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-35393-8

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

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