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

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 close encounter of the best kind.

FIELD TRIP TO THE MOON

Left behind when the space bus departs, a child discovers that the moon isn’t as lifeless as it looks.

While the rest of the space-suited class follows the teacher like ducklings, one laggard carrying crayons and a sketchbook sits down to draw our home planet floating overhead, falls asleep, and wakes to see the bus zooming off. The bright yellow bus, the gaggle of playful field-trippers, and even the dull gray boulders strewn over the equally dull gray lunar surface have a rounded solidity suggestive of Plasticine models in Hare’s wordless but cinematic scenes…as do the rubbery, one-eyed, dull gray creatures (think: those stress-busting dolls with ears that pop out when squeezed) that emerge from the regolith. The mutual shock lasts but a moment before the lunarians eagerly grab the proffered crayons to brighten the bland gray setting with silly designs. The creatures dive into the dust when the bus swoops back down but pop up to exchange goodbye waves with the errant child, who turns out to be an olive-skinned kid with a mop of brown hair last seen drawing one of their new friends with the one crayon—gray, of course—left in the box. Body language is expressive enough in this debut outing to make a verbal narrative superfluous.

A close encounter of the best kind. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: May 14, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4253-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Margaret Ferguson/Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Feb. 6, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

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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: 978-1-945-29519-5

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Candied Plums

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2016

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