Not the subtlest book, but girls who love fairies won’t care.

READ REVIEW

ROSY AND THE SECRET FRIEND

From the Fairy Bell Sisters series , Vol. 2

Fairy Rosy Bell strikes up a forbidden friendship with a human child.

In August, the Summer People—human vacationers—arrive at their vacation cottages on Sheepskerry Island. They bring loud noises, trample fairy gardens and are dangerous; when humans discover fairies, they chase them off and leave them homeless. Rosy intends to follow the rules and avoid the Summer People, but then she overhears an injured little girl’s parents hoping the island’s magic will cheer up their daughter. Overwhelmed by compassion, Rosy sneaks into Lulu’s room to tidy up, accidentally wakes up Lulu and is spotted. The two strike up a hidden friendship, meeting and passing notes in secret. Lulu is a Peter Pan fan who loves hearing about Rosy’s big sister Tinker Bell, and in return, she shares her grandmother’s stories about visiting the island back when fairies played with Summer Children. But Lulu, not content to be a secret, wants to meet the rest of the Fairy Bell sisters. When a big storm rolls in, Rosy must confess her friendship and enlist the other fairies to help her rescue Lulu, who is on the beach and has lost a crutch. In return, Lulu has the Summer Children help rebuild the fairy homes destroyed by the storm. The story’s sweetness is tempered by the friendship’s secrecy.

Not the subtlest book, but girls who love fairies won’t care. (how to make a fairy house, glossary of baby Squeak’s language) (Fantasy. 6-8)

Pub Date: April 23, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-06-222805-5

Page Count: 115

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 27, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2013

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A heartwarming story with a bit of mystery, available in both English and Chinese.

WHO WANTS CANDIED HAWBERRIES?

In winter, an old man enters Cat’s Eye Hutong (alleyway or lane) with his bicycle, fitted with a rack filled with candied hawberry skewers, a Chinese treat.

He hopes to sell all so that he can buy medicine but first puts down a box of fish scraps in the snow. He calls for customers, but none appear. The charming, naïve watercolor-and–colored-pencil paintings begin to fill with feline images built into the architecture. Then a small child wearing a white medical mask (sometimes worn to prevent the spread of germs) buys a stick of hawberries, but as she walks off, the man notices a white tail peeking from her coat. Other young, masked buyers appear; all have tails, and one’s mask has slipped, exposing whiskers. Finally, a human girl buys the last stick, and when the old man asks her about the kids with tails, she informs him that only “Kitties have tails” but points up to cats on the rooftops all eating the red hawberry sticks. Careful readers will remember the fish left “as usual.” This book publishes simultaneously with an edition in Simplified Chinese, which features simplified characters and transliterated text in a small font directly above the characters. Backmatter includes a glossary keyed to intermediate-level readers, three-to-a-page thumbnails of the illustrations with English text, and note with cultural background (sadly missing in the English-only edition); further Chinese learning materials are available on the publisher’s website.

A heartwarming story with a bit of mystery, available in both English and Chinese. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2016

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Candied Plums

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2016

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The Force is definitely not with this one.

STAR WARS BATTLE CRIES

CREATURES VS. ALIENS

To choruses of electronic roars, shrieks, and gabbles, licensed aliens take on licensed beasts.

Along with brief introductions and fighting-skills rating charts, Hidalgo supplies perfunctory scenarios for matchups between a Wookiee and a Sarlacc, a Tusken raider and a tauntaun, and three other pairings—inviting readers to press on designated spots to activate snatches of sound and to pick winners for each dust-up. His descriptions (“These rolling meatballs of teeth and tentacles are considered one of the most dangerous creatures in the galaxy,” he says of rathtars) are generally more colorful than Park’s recognizable but bland, flattened, cartoony figures. The tinny hoots and calls issuing from the rear cover’s tiny speaker are likewise generic, mostly interchangeable, and sound as if they were recorded in a cardboard box. The scenarios and the art are free of explicit gore or violence, but there’s a streak of cruelty in evidence, as the Ewoks are sent to saw off a wampa’s horn “for a mystical ceremony,” and the Geonosian’s task is to egg a reluctant rancor out into an arena to fight droids for the purpose of “impressing some visiting Hutts.”

The Force is definitely not with this one. (replaceable batteries, on/off switch) (Novelty. 6-8)

Pub Date: April 23, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-7603-6404-8

Page Count: 24

Publisher: becker&mayer! kids

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

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