A compromise tale any kid assigned a group project should understand.

NIXIE MAKES WAVES

From the Mermaids to the Rescue series , Vol. 1

In the same world as the Enchanted Pony Academy series, royal merchildren partner with magical seaponies in the elite Royal Mermaid Rescue Crew.

Princess Nixie’s excited for Selection Day, when she and her fellow Rescue Crew School classmates choose a partner from the Enchanted Seapony Academy. Nixie’s long awaited the day she’ll be a full member of the Rescue Crew, and though she doesn’t know which seapony’s the best match for her, she knows who isn’t: Rip, top of the seapony class but disliked for his rigid adherence to rules and preference for work over fun. When the ceremony comes, though, Nixie draws to pick last, leaving her with…Rip. Seeing his distress and confusion at his last-place selection, Nixie does her best to be positive about their partnership. She seeks common ground through shared adventure, but he’d rather study their rule book. Nixie’s nearly ready to refuse the match when she hears a distress call from her two best friends—stranded where they shouldn’t be—and so she rushes to rescue them. Luckily for her, Rip follows and the two work together—combining her flexible thinking-on-her-feet with the valuable information from his scholarship—gaining understanding and becoming a true team. This intelligent treatment of the emotional dynamic helps to mitigate the tendentiously sparkly worldbuilding and thin characterizations. Nixie appears with lavender hair and light skin on the cover; publishing simultaneously are three other titles in the series, each fronted by a different member of the diverse Royal Mermaid Rescue Crew: Cali Plays Fair, Cascadia Saves the Day, and Lana Swims North.

A compromise tale any kid assigned a group project should understand. (Fantasy. 7-10)

Pub Date: March 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-26697-9

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Nov. 21, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2018

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A plucky mouse finds her true home in this warm, winning tale.

A TRUE HOME

From the Heartwood Hotel series , Vol. 1

An orphan mouse unexpectedly arrives at Heartwood Hotel, which she hopes will become the home she’s seeking.

Mona’s never had a home for long. After a storm forces her to flee her latest forest shelter, she discovers an enormous tree with a heart carved into its trunk. When Mona presses the heart, a door opens, and she enters the lobby of Heartwood Hotel, where small forest critters hibernate, eat, and celebrate in safety. The kindhearted badger proprietor, Mr. Heartwood, takes pity on homeless Mona, allowing her to stay for the fall to assist the maid, Tilly, a red squirrel. Grateful to be at Heartwood, Mona strives to prove herself despite Tilly’s unfriendly attitude. Mona’s clever approaches with a wounded songbird, an anxious skunk, and a wayward bear win Mr. Heartwood’s approval. But when Mona accidentally breaks a rule, Tilly convinces her she will be fired. As Mona secretly leaves Heartwood, she discovers marauding wolves planning to crash Heartwood’s Snow Festival and devises a daring plan to save the place she regards as home. Charming anthropomorphic characters, humorous mishaps, and outside threats add to the drama. Delicate pencil illustrations reinforce Heartwood’s cozy home theme. A sequel, The Greatest Gift, publishes simultaneously.

A plucky mouse finds her true home in this warm, winning tale. (Animal fantasy. 7-10)

Pub Date: July 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4847-3161-1

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: April 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2017

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With plenty left to be resolved, the next entry will be eagerly sought after.

RISE OF THE EARTH DRAGON

From the Dragon Masters series , Vol. 1

Drake has been selected by the king to serve as a Dragon Master, quite a change for an 8-year-old farmer boy.

The dragons are a secret, and the reason King Roland has them is a mystery, but what is clear is that the Dragon Stone has identified Drake as one of the rare few children who have a special connection with dragons and the ability to serve as a trainer. Drake’s dragon is a long brown creature with, at first, no particular talents that Drake can identify. He calls the dragon Worm. It isn’t long before Drake begins to realize he has a very strong connection with Worm and can share what seem to be his dragon’s thoughts. After one of the other Dragon Masters decides to illicitly take the dragons outside, disaster strikes. The cave they are passing through collapses, blocking the passageway, and then Worm’s special talent becomes evident. The first of a new series of early chapter books, this entry is sure to attract fans. Brief chapters, large print, lots of action, attractive illustrations in every spread, including a maplike panorama, an enviable protagonist—who wouldn’t want to be a Dragon Master?—all combine to make an entertaining read.

With plenty left to be resolved, the next entry will be eagerly sought after. (Fantasy. 7-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 24, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-545-64624-6

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Branches/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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