This child-friendly book buzzes with positivity.

BUMBLE B. MISSION FUN

From the Bumble B. series

Three short stories star a spunky, confident girl.

In this series opener, Beatrice Honey “Bumble B.” Flynn, a beekeeper’s daughter, challenges herself to three “missions.” In the first, she trades her usual Halloween costume, a bee, for a self-designed superhero, Super Bee. She works hard on her costume, but her initial enthusiasm’s dampened by cape mishaps and a less-than-kind boy—however, that cape pays off in a sudden rainstorm. In the second story, a science-club activity groups Bumble B. with less-receptive kids instead of her best friends for an outdoor-observation exercise. A clumsy mishap embarrasses Bumble B. only for a moment before she turns it into a chance to kick-start her group’s mission, loosening them up with her unwavering enthusiasm and winning their friendship. In the final story, Bumble B. helps her friend Kalia at Kalia’s grandmother’s garden stand at the farmers market. Despite her good intentions, the easily distracted Bumble B. isn’t the best worker—but eventually she discovers that the best way to help is through her own spin, contributing bee-themed art for the flower buckets. Bumble B.’s genuinely childlike emotions keep her from becoming a Pollyanna. Bumble B. is white; aside from Kalia and her grandmother, who appear to be Asian, diversity is present in Bumble B.’s other best friend, brown-skinned Rosa, and her science groupmate Otto, who has brown skin and glasses.

This child-friendly book buzzes with positivity. (Fiction. 5-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-68436-016-1

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Picture Window Books

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2018

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Wins for compassion and for the refusal to let physical limitations hold one back.

TINY T. REX AND THE IMPOSSIBLE HUG

With such short arms, how can Tiny T. Rex give a sad friend a hug?

Fleck goes for cute in the simple, minimally detailed illustrations, drawing the diminutive theropod with a chubby turquoise body and little nubs for limbs under a massive, squared-off head. Impelled by the sight of stegosaurian buddy Pointy looking glum, little Tiny sets out to attempt the seemingly impossible, a comforting hug. Having made the rounds seeking advice—the dino’s pea-green dad recommends math; purple, New Age aunt offers cucumber juice (“That is disgusting”); red mom tells him that it’s OK not to be able to hug (“You are tiny, but your heart is big!”), and blue and yellow older sibs suggest practice—Tiny takes up the last as the most immediately useful notion. Unfortunately, the “tree” the little reptile tries to hug turns out to be a pterodactyl’s leg. “Now I am falling,” Tiny notes in the consistently self-referential narrative. “I should not have let go.” Fortunately, Tiny lands on Pointy’s head, and the proclamation that though Rexes’ hugs may be tiny, “I will do my very best because you are my very best friend” proves just the mood-lightening ticket. “Thank you, Tiny. That was the biggest hug ever.” Young audiences always find the “clueless grown-ups” trope a knee-slapper, the overall tone never turns preachy, and Tiny’s instinctive kindness definitely puts him at (gentle) odds with the dinky dino star of Bob Shea’s Dinosaur Vs. series.

Wins for compassion and for the refusal to let physical limitations hold one back. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: March 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4521-7033-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2018

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PUG BLASTS OFF

From the Diary of a Pug series , Vol. 1

A cuddly, squishy pug’s puggy-wuggy diary.

Equipped with both #pugunicorn and #pughotdog outfits, pug Baron von Bubbles (aka Bub) is the kind of dog that always dresses to impress. Bub also makes lots of memorable faces, such as the “Hey, you’re not the boss of me!” expression aimed at Duchess, the snooty pink house cat. Some of Bub’s favorite things include skateboarding, a favorite teddy, and eating peanut butter. Bub also loves Bella, who adopted Bub from a fair—it was “love at first sniff.” Together, Bub and Bella do a lot of arts and crafts. Their latest project: entering Bella’s school’s inventor challenge by making a super-duper awesome rocket. But, when the pesky neighborhood squirrel, Nutz, makes off with Bub’s bear, Bub accidentally ruins their project. How will they win the contest? More importantly, how will Bella ever forgive him? May’s cutesy, full-color cartoon art sets the tone for this pug-tastic romp for the new-to–chapter-books crowd. Emojilike faces accentuate Bub’s already expressive character design. Bub’s infectious first-person narration pushes the silly factor off the charts. In addition to creating the look and feel of a diary, the lined paper helps readers follow the eight-chapter story. Most pages have fewer than five sentences, often broken into smaller sections. Additional text appears in color-coded speech bubbles. Bella presents white.

Totes adorbs. (Fiction. 5-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-53003-2

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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