A sweet success story about transforming a scared, neglected pup into a champion.


This debut picture book by sheltie–rescue-advocate Greiner describes how to care for Shetland sheepdogs.

Sashi, a sheltie, herds by instinct. She chases everything, imagining cars and children on bicycles to be sheep. Her owners don’t understand that this is the nature of shelties, and they drop her off at a shelter rather than try to train her. Afraid of everything, Sashi spends most of her time hiding from the people who visit the shelter. But eventually, a woman from Shetland Sheepdog Rescue comes to rehabilitate Sashi—and only a few days later, a little girl named Anna and her mother bring Sashi home. The girl and her mom know what it takes to train a dog to come, sit and investigate scary things. During the training process, Anna teaches Sashi to find her in hide-and-seek games around the house—an idea sure to delight young dog lovers. Readers will be pleased to watch frightened Sashi gain confidence and feel loved (rather than being constantly scolded for her natural behavior). Based on a true story, this picture book has a lot of kid appeal, and the illustrations are delightfully child-friendly. The idea that various dog breeds act differently may help families make better decisions when looking to buy or rescue a dog. The relationship between Anna and Sashi is heartwarming and will resonate with readers who love dogs. The vocabulary is largely approachable for newly independent readers, with some challenging words and phrases. Lap readers may enjoy looking at the pictures and discussing Sashi’s happy ending.

A sweet success story about transforming a scared, neglected pup into a champion.

Pub Date: N/A


Page Count: -

Publisher: Brown Books Publishing Group

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2014

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Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes.


A lift-the-flap book gives the littlest trick-or-treaters some practice identifying partygoers under their costumes.

Little Blue Truck and his buddy Toad are off to a party, and they invite readers (and a black cat) along for the ride: “ ‘Beep! Beep! Beep!’ / says Little Blue. / ‘It’s Halloween!’ / You come, too.” As they drive, they are surprised (and joined) by many of their friends in costume. “Who’s that in a tutu / striking a pose / up on the tiniest / tips of her toes? / Under the mask / who do you see?” Lifting the flap unmasks a friend: “ ‘Quack!’ says the duck. / ‘It’s me! It’s me!’ ” The sheep is disguised as a clown, the cow’s a queen, the pig’s a witch, the hen and her chick are pirates, and the horse is a dragon. Not to be left out, Little Blue has a costume, too. The flaps are large and sturdy, and enough of the animals’ characteristic features are visible under and around the costumes that little ones will be able to make successful guesses even on the first reading. Lovely curvy shapes and autumn colors fade to dusky blues as night falls, and children are sure to notice the traditional elements of a Halloween party: apple bobbing, lit jack-o’-lanterns, and punch and treats.

Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-544-77253-3

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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Readers can still rely on this series to bring laughs.


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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