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Just when things seem to be working out for Emma, a new dilemma arises for her family. Annie, the nanny, announces she’s leaving for a three-week trip to Ireland. Will Annie really come back? Will a new nanny be hired in the interim? Worse still, will the new nanny impress Mom and Dad more with her organized, practical ways? All these fears surface when Mrs. Potts appears for training, and her no-nonsense approach sends distress signals to Emma. Eager to find a way to keep Annie from leaving, Emma employs her usual creative strategies, resulting in unexpected complications through unsettling and unwanted scenarios. Simultaneously, Emma finds herself in a different sort of pickle, when she “borrows” a book that gets ripped to shreds by her pet ferret before she can secretly return it and another classmate is falsely accused of its theft. Hermes’s second volume in this head-shaking, funny series sheds light on a child’s naïveté despite her bold and impulsive actions. Emma’s blunders get her into a bit more trouble this time, yet she learns to accept Annie’s needs, be less selfish about her own, and admit her poor judgment’s effect on others. An engaging sequel with a captivating protagonist. (Fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: April 1, 2007

ISBN: 0-7614-5353-9

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Marshall Cavendish

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2007

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From the Lemonade War series , Vol. 1

Told from the point of view of two warring siblings, this could have been an engaging first chapter book. Unfortunately, the length makes it less likely to appeal to the intended audience. Jessie and Evan are usually good friends as well as sister and brother. But the news that bright Jessie will be skipping a grade to join Evan’s fourth-grade class creates tension. Evan believes himself to be less than clever; Jessie’s emotional maturity doesn’t quite measure up to her intelligence. Rivalry and misunderstandings grow as the two compete to earn the most money in the waning days of summer. The plot rolls along smoothly and readers will be able to both follow the action and feel superior to both main characters as their motivations and misconceptions are clearly displayed. Indeed, a bit more subtlety in characterization might have strengthened the book’s appeal. The final resolution is not entirely believable, but the emphasis on cooperation and understanding is clear. Earnest and potentially successful, but just misses the mark. (Fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: April 23, 2007

ISBN: 0-618-75043-6

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2007

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Flattened once more, this time not by a falling bulletin board but a double blow to his elusive “Osteal Balance Point”—or so says family GP Dr. Dan—Stanley Lambchop gets two more chances to play the hero before popping back into shape. First he becomes a human spinnaker in a sailboat race, then he worms his way through the wreckage of a collapsed building to rescue ever-rude classmate Emma Weeks. Alluding to previous episodes, Stanley complains, “Why me? Why am I always getting flat, or invisible, or something?” Mr. Lambchop replies, “But things often happen without there seeming to be a reason, and then something else happens, and suddenly the first thing seems to have had a purpose after all.” Perhaps—even if that purpose is just to tread water, as Brown does here. Still, with its cartoon illustrations, well-leaded text and general goofiness, this retread is as likely to draw transitional readers as the perennial favorite Flat Stanley (1964) and its sequels. (Fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: March 1, 2003

ISBN: 0-06-009551-2

Page Count: 96

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2003

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