A silly superhero tale showcasing a tasty, healthy berry.


Sheldon, The Antioxidant Super Hero of Jaloonsville


Sheldon Bilberry, also known as Blueberry Boy, is a nutritional superhero in this outside-the-box children’s series starter by debut author Jones.

The titular hero wears a cape dyed with blueberry juice because, as he tells his best friend, Lou, it “represents antioxidant protection.” As the duo make their way to their favorite blueberry market—there are several in their hometown of Jaloonsville—they’re greeted by Viney, another friend, who reminds Sheldon to bring a favorite homemade blueberry treat to school. All seems well until store owner Mr. G. shares a terrible secret: his market may have to close because the new delivery truck driver is bringing him only junk food. What will Jaloonsville do without its blueberry deliveries? Rather than follow the obvious course of action—uncovering why the junk food is being delivered—Sheldon devises a grander plan: he and his parents will buy several acres of land to start their own blueberry farm. His parents agree, and they strike a deal with the neighboring town of Buron Park. But the plot soon thickens: the driver of the delivery truck, Lazy Lars, is also from Buron Park, and he’s determined to keep Sheldon’s healthy treats out of his hometown, where junk food reigns supreme. Readers will never doubt Sheldon’s eventual success. The characters’ constant love of blueberries, along with the book’s whimsical cartoon illustrations, give the story a lighthearted flavor. The health food aspect is less pronounced than in similarly themed books but it’s still strongly present; readers will know that the only supervillains Sheldon will face will be candy bars and other sweets. Although both Sheldon and the delivery driver are Caucasian, the illustrations show Jaloonsville to be delightfully diverse, proving that everyone can share a love for blueberries.

A silly superhero tale showcasing a tasty, healthy berry.

Pub Date: Aug. 15, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-615-68425-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Melissa's Book Publishing LLC

Review Posted Online: Oct. 2, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2015

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A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift.

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A paean to teachers and their surrogates everywhere.

This gentle ode to a teacher’s skill at inspiring, encouraging, and being a role model is spoken, presumably, from a child’s viewpoint. However, the voice could equally be that of an adult, because who can’t look back upon teachers or other early mentors who gave of themselves and offered their pupils so much? Indeed, some of the self-aware, self-assured expressions herein seem perhaps more realistic as uttered from one who’s already grown. Alternatively, readers won’t fail to note that this small book, illustrated with gentle soy-ink drawings and featuring an adult-child bear duo engaged in various sedentary and lively pursuits, could just as easily be about human parent- (or grandparent-) child pairs: some of the softly colored illustrations depict scenarios that are more likely to occur within a home and/or other family-oriented setting. Makes sense: aren’t parents and other close family members children’s first teachers? This duality suggests that the book might be best shared one-on-one between a nostalgic adult and a child who’s developed some self-confidence, having learned a thing or two from a parent, grandparent, older relative, or classroom instructor.

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943200-08-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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From the Mrs. Hartwell's Classroom Adventures series

One more myth dispelled for all the students who believe that their teachers live in their classrooms. During the last week of school, Mrs. Hartwell and her students reflect on the things they will miss, while also looking forward to the fun that summer will bring. The kids want to cheer up their teacher, whom they imagine will be crying over lesson plans and missing them all summer long. But what gift will cheer her up? Numerous ideas are rejected, until Eddie comes up with the perfect plan. They all cooperate to create a rhyming ode to the school year and their teacher. Love’s renderings of the children are realistic, portraying the diversity of modern-day classrooms, from dress and expression to gender and skin color. She perfectly captures the emotional trauma the students imagine their teachers will go through as they leave for the summer. Her final illustration hysterically shatters that myth, and will have every teacher cheering aloud. What a perfect end to the school year. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2006

ISBN: 1-58089-046-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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