A charming tale of friendship between dogs and the love of owners who understand their pets.

READ REVIEW

SASHI ADOPTS A BROTHER

Sashi, the formerly shy sheltie, returns to welcome a new misbehaving brother into her family in Greiner’s (Sashi, The Scared Little Sheltie, 2015) second picture book.

Sashi knows what it’s like to be unwanted. She was a rescue dog when Anna and her mother adopted her. After a few years, Sashi’s humans decide to foster rescue dogs until they find permanent homes. Well-trained and confident in her place among her humans, Sashi makes sure the foster dogs know that she’s the princess of the house. Some of the foster dogs teach her fun tricks, like climbing snowdrifts. Others—like the one who chases a “laser light toy”—just seem strange. But none challenges her ability to rule her home as much as Buddy. An oversized and rambunctious sheltie, Buddy had to leave his original home due to his bad behavior. At first, he annoys Sashi with his antics, and she chases him in punishment. Soon she realizes that the chasing is just part of the game, and she forgets about being a princess—she just has fun. When Buddy misbehaves when meeting with prospective adopters, Anna and her mom realize that Buddy just doesn’t want to leave Sashi. Spicer’s brightly colored illustrations give each sheltie a unique personality, and the pages where Buddy is winning over Sashi show Sashi’s development from reluctance to play with this new dog to joy at finding a playmate. Each page is dense with text, making the book better for independent grade school readers or very patient lap readers. The vocabulary may include words and phrases unfamiliar to young readers (“adoption,” “rowdy,” “behaviors,” “in spite of herself”), but the meanings are clear in context. Greiner’s passion for shelties and rescue dogs comes through clearly in the story, and she shows the types of roles that rescue shelties can take on after adoption, whether as therapy dogs, helpers in a store, or simply loving pets. An endnote describes the breed, and the author’s bio promises that proceeds from the book’s sale will go toward Sheltie Rescue.

A charming tale of friendship between dogs and the love of owners who understand their pets.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Brown Books Kids

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2015

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Good fun with a monster of a cliffhanger.

THE LAST KIDS ON EARTH AND THE SKELETON ROAD

From the Last Kids on Earth series , Vol. 6

The monster-fighting gang from Wakefield departs on a post-apocalyptic road trip.

In this sixth installment of the heavily illustrated, Netflix-adapted series, quirky Jack Sullivan and his friends June, Quint, and Dirk finally leave their creature-ridden town in search of the ultimate baddie, Thrull, who previously deceived them. The quartet takes their tricked-out ride (an armored RV named Bad Mama) onto the open road (with Jack’s Zombie Squad in tow) to find the Outpost, where they believe a certain monster will be able to give them the location of the evil Tower where they believe Thrull now resides. Of course, the journey is littered with all kinds of nightmarish beasts and pitfalls (including an epic water park battle and slime-dripping baby monster), but the kids persist, armed with their endless gadgets and quick thinking. As the group races toward Thrull, the action culminates with an achingly tantalizing cliffhanger; expect audible groans and vociferous demands for the next installment. Fans of this series will revel in this fast-paced escapade with its recognizable black-and-white illustrations and trademark humor. Readers new to the series or those who are only familiar with the animated show may be a bit put off by this later volume that relies heavily on its own language of monsters and weapons. Jack, June, and Dirk are light-skinned; Quint is dark-skinned.

Good fun with a monster of a cliffhanger. (Graphic fiction. 8-13)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-984835-34-5

Page Count: 250

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

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Readers can still rely on this series to bring laughs.

WRECKING BALL

From the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series , Vol. 14

The Heffley family’s house undergoes a disastrous attempt at home improvement.

When Great Aunt Reba dies, she leaves some money to the family. Greg’s mom calls a family meeting to determine what to do with their share, proposing home improvements and then overruling the family’s cartoonish wish lists and instead pushing for an addition to the kitchen. Before bringing in the construction crew, the Heffleys attempt to do minor maintenance and repairs themselves—during which Greg fails at the work in various slapstick scenes. Once the professionals are brought in, the problems keep getting worse: angry neighbors, terrifying problems in walls, and—most serious—civil permitting issues that put the kibosh on what work’s been done. Left with only enough inheritance to patch and repair the exterior of the house—and with the school’s dismal standardized test scores as a final straw—Greg’s mom steers the family toward moving, opening up house-hunting and house-selling storylines (and devastating loyal Rowley, who doesn’t want to lose his best friend). While Greg’s positive about the move, he’s not completely uncaring about Rowley’s action. (And of course, Greg himself is not as unaffected as he wishes.) The gags include effectively placed callbacks to seemingly incidental events (the “stress lizard” brought in on testing day is particularly funny) and a lampoon of after-school-special–style problem books. Just when it seems that the Heffleys really will move, a new sequence of chaotic trouble and property destruction heralds a return to the status quo. Whew.

Readers can still rely on this series to bring laughs. (Graphic/fiction hybrid. 8-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3903-3

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: Nov. 19, 2019

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