Not Jennings’ best, but worth it for cat fans.


Can’t a kitty catch a break for a nap? Not in the Fitz house.

Hissy is a simple cat. He wants his food, he wants clean water, and he wants some peace and quiet for a nap. Georgie, his 8-year-old human girl, is too loving; she often elicits a hiss for waking Hissy from his important naps. Her father is a carpenter, so he earns hisses for making too much noise. But the real problem is Zeb, Georgie’s untamed 3-year-old brother. Zeb is constantly noisy and constantly chasing Hissy. Zeb’s twin, Abe, is perfectly tamed and probably receives the fewest hisses. Sometimes Hissy can catch a quick snooze at his friend Igloo’s house, but only if the window or door is left open. Hissy concludes that wherever you find a human, you find noise. He escapes into the night for a nap, but cats are nocturnal, and he always has trouble sleeping at night. Igloo organizes a soccer match to tire him out; maybe if he snuggles with Georgie, Hissy will finally get some shut-eye…but it’s only a few hours until dawn….Jennings, author of the popular Guinea Dog series, tackles the feline mind with fair results. Narrator Hissy is a hard cat to like, and his annoyance with his humans can backfire. The soccer match in an otherwise realistic tale feels a bit out of place, but cat lovers will see their feline friends in Hissy (especially if those felines can be a bit hissy at times).

Not Jennings’ best, but worth it for cat fans. (Fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: Jan. 6, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-60684-596-7

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Egmont USA

Review Posted Online: Oct. 1, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A plucky mouse finds her true home in this warm, winning tale.


From the Heartwood Hotel series , Vol. 1

An orphan mouse unexpectedly arrives at Heartwood Hotel, which she hopes will become the home she’s seeking.

Mona’s never had a home for long. After a storm forces her to flee her latest forest shelter, she discovers an enormous tree with a heart carved into its trunk. When Mona presses the heart, a door opens, and she enters the lobby of Heartwood Hotel, where small forest critters hibernate, eat, and celebrate in safety. The kindhearted badger proprietor, Mr. Heartwood, takes pity on homeless Mona, allowing her to stay for the fall to assist the maid, Tilly, a red squirrel. Grateful to be at Heartwood, Mona strives to prove herself despite Tilly’s unfriendly attitude. Mona’s clever approaches with a wounded songbird, an anxious skunk, and a wayward bear win Mr. Heartwood’s approval. But when Mona accidentally breaks a rule, Tilly convinces her she will be fired. As Mona secretly leaves Heartwood, she discovers marauding wolves planning to crash Heartwood’s Snow Festival and devises a daring plan to save the place she regards as home. Charming anthropomorphic characters, humorous mishaps, and outside threats add to the drama. Delicate pencil illustrations reinforce Heartwood’s cozy home theme. A sequel, The Greatest Gift, publishes simultaneously.

A plucky mouse finds her true home in this warm, winning tale. (Animal fantasy. 7-10)

Pub Date: July 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4847-3161-1

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: April 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

A dramatic, educational, authentic whale of a tale.


After a tsunami devastates their habitat in the Salish Sea, a young orca and her brother embark on a remarkable adventure.

Vega’s matriarchal family expects her to become a hunter and wayfinder, with her younger brother, Deneb, protecting and supporting her. Invited to guide her family to their Gathering Place to hunt salmon, Vega’s underwater miscalculations endanger them all, and an embarrassed Vega questions whether she should be a wayfinder. When the baby sister she hoped would become her life companion is stillborn, a distraught Vega carries the baby away to a special resting place, shocking her grieving family. Dispatched to find his missing sister, Deneb locates Vega in the midst of a terrible tsunami. To escape the waters polluted by shattered boats, Vega leads Deneb into unfamiliar open sea. Alone and hungry, the young siblings encounter a spectacular giant whale and travel briefly with shark-hunting orcas. Trusting her instincts and gaining emotional strength from contemplating the vastness of the sky, Vega knows she must lead her brother home and help save her surviving family. In alternating first-person voices, Vega and Deneb tell their harrowing story, engaging young readers while educating them about the marine ecosystem. Realistic black-and-white illustrations enhance the maritime setting.

A dramatic, educational, authentic whale of a tale. (maps, wildlife facts, tribes of the Salish Sea watershed, environmental and geographical information, how to help orcas, author’s note, artist’s note, resources) (Animal fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-299592-6

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: July 1, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

Did you like this book?