This kicks off a series, and readers will be glad to know that this piggie and pooch will pair up again.

HORACE & BUNWINKLE

Who’s stealing animals? The “pet-tectives” are on the case!

Horace Homer Higgins III is a most dignified Boston terrier, and he’s not happy that his human Eleanor is moving him from the city to the Homestead. It’s hard enough to keep her safe in town. Then she announces he’s about to get a new sister…and that sister turns out to be a pig! Bunwinkle was the runt of her litter, but what she lacks in size she makes up for in enthusiasm, and she loves living on the farm. All the animal characters are, well, characters: Smith and Jones are horse brothers who’ve seen it all; Smokey is a sardonically nasty stray cat; there’s also a bevy of excitable chicks, alpacas, goats, and troublesome ducks. On one of several trips to the vet (farms can be hazardous), Horace and Bunwinkle start to piece together a local mystery. Animals are disappearing. Is it the vets? Is it Smokey? Aliens? (That’s what Jones thinks.) The chase is on, but can they puzzle it out before one of them gets snatched? Gardner’s debut tale of mystery and (eventual) bucolic bliss brings to mind Joan Carris and Noah Z. Jones’ Bed & Biscuit series. Graduates of the Mercy Watson books will also feel right at home. Mottram’s occasional illustrations just add to the charm. Human characters are default White. (Final art not seen.)

This kicks off a series, and readers will be glad to know that this piggie and pooch will pair up again. (author's note) (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-294654-6

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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Utterly believable, this bittersweet story, complete with an author’s note identifying the real Ivan, will inspire a new...

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  • New York Times Bestseller

  • Newbery Medal Winner

THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN

How Ivan confronts his harrowing past yet stays true to his nature exemplifies everything youngsters need to know about courage.

Living in a "domain" of glass, metal and cement at the Big Top Mall, Ivan sometimes forgets whether to act like a gorilla or a human—except Ivan does not think much of humans. He describes their behavior as frantic, whereas he is a peaceful artist. Fittingly, Ivan narrates his tale in short, image-rich sentences and acute, sometimes humorous, observations that are all the more heartbreaking for their simple delivery. His sorrow is palpable, but he stoically endures the cruelty of humans until Ruby the baby elephant is abused. In a pivotal scene, Ivan finally admits his domain is a cage, and rather than let Ruby live and die in grim circumstances, he promises to save her. In order to express his plea in a painting, Ivan must bravely face buried memories of the lush jungle, his family and their brutal murder, which is recounted in a brief, powerful chapter sure to arouse readers’ passions. In a compelling ending, the more challenging question Applegate poses is whether or not Ivan will remember what it was like to be a gorilla. Spot art captures poignant moments throughout.

Utterly believable, this bittersweet story, complete with an author’s note identifying the real Ivan, will inspire a new generation of advocates. (author’s note) (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Jan. 17, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-06-199225-4

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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

CHARLOTTE'S WEB

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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