Another whimsical trip down the rabbit hole


From the Royal Rabbits of London series , Vol. 2

The sequel to The Royal Rabbits of London (2018) picks up six weeks after young Shylo Tawny-Tail left his cozy home in the Warren for bustling London on a quest to foil a plot to harm the queen.

Shylo’s courage has earned him admittance into the legendary secret order of brave bunnies who live under Buckingham Palace in order to protect the royal family from evil-doers. Speaking of evil-doers, those vile, stinky gossipmongers, the Ratzis, are at it again. Their leader, the mysterious Papa Ratzi, has ordered them to find and kidnap Shylo in order to uncover the secrets of the Royal Rabbits. That’s phase one of his nefarious plan. Phase two: embarrass the king and queen and humiliate their ally, the president of the United States of America. You see: The alliance between the United States and England helps keep peace in the world, but peace is a Ratzi’s worst enemy—bad news sells, after all. Can little Shylo prevent catastrophe, or will the Ratzis stop him first? Front- and backmatter include a stylized map of the story’s locales, facts about U.S. presidents and the White House, and a “Which Royal Rabbit Are You?” quiz, all of which complement the book’s tongue-in-cheek fun. Flourishes include the Ratzis’ elaborate tech and Hindley’s amusing illustrations. Readers need not have read the first book, but they’d be doing themselves a disservice by not starting there.

Another whimsical trip down the rabbit hole . (Animal fantasy. 7-12)

Pub Date: Jan. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4814-9863-0

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Aladdin

Review Posted Online: Sept. 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Certain to steal hearts.


In this follow-up to 2020’s The One and Only Bob, Ruby the elephant is still living at Wildworld Zoological Park and Sanctuary.

She’s apprehensive about her Tuskday, a rite of passage for young elephants when she’ll give a speech in front of the rest of the herd. Luckily, she can confide in her Uncle Ivan, who is next door in Gorilla World, and Uncle Bob, the dog who lives nearby with human friend Julia. Ruby was born in an unspecified part of Africa, later ending up on display in the mall, where she met Ivan, Bob, and Julia. The unexpected arrival of someone from Ruby’s past life on the savanna revives memories both warmly nostalgic and deeply traumatic. An elephant glossary and Castelao’s charming, illustrated guide to elephant body language help immerse readers in Ruby’s world. Goofy, playful, and mischievous Ruby is fully dimensional, as she has shown her bravery during the many hardships of her young life. Applegate deftly tempers themes of grief and loss with compassion and humor as Ruby finds her place in the herd. The author’s note touches on climate change, the illegal ivory trade, and conservation efforts, but the highly emotive framing of the story through the memories of a bewildered baby elephant emphasizes the impact of lines such as “ ‘in Africa,’ I say softly, ‘there were bad people,’ ” without offering readers a nuanced understanding of the broader context that drives poaching.

Certain to steal hearts. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 2, 2023

ISBN: 9780063080089

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2023

Did you like this book?

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


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

Did you like this book?