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MILLIE

A marvelous, tenderhearted tale featuring a charming and cuddly terrier protagonist.

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A street dog learns to trust humans in Hoyle’s middle-grade novel.

Life hasn’t been easy for a stray border terrier separated from her mother and siblings. The humans who took her in abandoned her, and Big Guy, the canine who taught her how to survive on the streets, has never returned from his food hunt. Now the terrier cares for another stray, Little Pup; the two of them make a home in an alley behind a bakery. But she can’t evade “the dogcatcher” forever, and she winds up alone in an animal shelter. Fortunately, teacher and dog trainer Lee Berry adopts her and names her Millie. The ever-wary former street dog adjusts to her new life and an array of new smells, slowly warming up to Lee and Lee’s lovable golden retriever, Bella. While Millie hopes to one day reunite with Big Guy and Little Pup, she’s also happy to run into Tori Smallwood, the bakery owner’s young granddaughter, who had shown her four-legged alley neighbors nothing but kindness. Hoyle’s canine hero narrates this sentimental tale. Although Millie understands most of what humans say and do, her reliance on scents aptly showcases her distinctive dogginess. That nose of hers, for example, instantly picks up strangers before they’re in sight, and Tori emits a welcome and familiar “perfume of bread.” Even with the harshness Millie endures, this upbeat story zeroes in on the positives; Millie and Little Pup may be living outside in the dead of winter, but that doesn’t stop the puppy from playing in the snow. Readers truly see things through Millie’s eyes, from the reasons she’s extra cautious around certain humans to the odorous “message” she leaves Little Pup. Not surprisingly, each of Keele’s crisp, beautifully shaded black-and-white illustrations features Millie in her small but sturdy form, flaunting an irresistible beard.

A marvelous, tenderhearted tale featuring a charming and cuddly terrier protagonist.

Pub Date: March 5, 2024

ISBN: 9781639932337

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Shadow Mountain

Review Posted Online: June 7, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2024

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THE WILD ROBOT PROTECTS

From the Wild Robot series , Vol. 3

Hugely entertaining, timely, and triumphant.

Robot Roz undertakes an unusual ocean journey to save her adopted island home in this third series entry.

When a poison tide flowing across the ocean threatens their island, Roz works with the resident creatures to ensure that they will have clean water, but the destruction of vegetation and crowding of habitats jeopardize everyone’s survival. Brown’s tale of environmental depredation and turmoil is by turns poignant, graceful, endearing, and inspiring, with his (mostly) gentle robot protagonist at its heart. Though Roz is different from the creatures she lives with or encounters—including her son, Brightbill the goose, and his new mate, Glimmerwing—she makes connections through her versatile communication abilities and her desire to understand and help others. When Roz accidentally discovers that the replacement body given to her by Dr. Molovo is waterproof, she sets out to seek help and discovers the human-engineered source of the toxic tide. Brown’s rich descriptions of undersea landscapes, entertaining conversations between Roz and wild creatures, and concise yet powerful explanations of the effect of the poison tide on the ecology of the island are superb. Simple, spare illustrations offer just enough glimpses of Roz and her surroundings to spark the imagination. The climactic confrontation pits oceangoing mammals, seabirds, fish, and even zooplankton against hardware and technology in a nicely choreographed battle. But it is Roz’s heroism and peacemaking that save the day.

Hugely entertaining, timely, and triumphant. (author’s note) (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2023

ISBN: 9780316669412

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Aug. 26, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2023

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CHARLOTTE'S WEB

The three way chats, in which they are joined by other animals, about web spinning, themselves, other humans—are as often...

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A successful juvenile by the beloved New Yorker writer portrays a farm episode with an imaginative twist that makes a poignant, humorous story of a pig, a spider and a little girl.

Young Fern Arable pleads for the life of runt piglet Wilbur and gets her father to sell him to a neighbor, Mr. Zuckerman. Daily, Fern visits the Zuckermans to sit and muse with Wilbur and with the clever pen spider Charlotte, who befriends him when he is lonely and downcast. At the news of Wilbur's forthcoming slaughter, campaigning Charlotte, to the astonishment of people for miles around, spins words in her web. "Some Pig" comes first. Then "Terrific"—then "Radiant". The last word, when Wilbur is about to win a show prize and Charlotte is about to die from building her egg sac, is "Humble". And as the wonderful Charlotte does die, the sadness is tempered by the promise of more spiders next spring.

The three way chats, in which they are joined by other animals, about web spinning, themselves, other humans—are as often informative as amusing, and the whole tenor of appealing wit and pathos will make fine entertainment for reading aloud, too.

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 1952

ISBN: 978-0-06-026385-0

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1952

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