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THE CASE OF THE GOLDEN BONE

From the Detective Sweet Pea series , Vol. 1

Sniffing around for an adorable, exciting, and thoughtful tale? This doggy detective delivers.

When the Golden Chew Bone mysteriously goes missing, Sweet Pea the dog is on the case.

Sweet Pea resides in the town of Parkville, where several animal species live harmoniously… mostly. She enjoys painting, eating out of the garbage, and learning about her family history. She’s never solved a mystery before, but when the Golden Chew Bone disappears before the Parkville Art Museum’s celebration of its return (the bone had been on loan to another museum), Sweet Pea is asked to use her strong sniffing abilities to find it. Dogs regularly visit the museum to chew on the bone; it keeps their teeth clean but somehow never gets any smaller. Dental problems among Parkville dogs are now on the rise, but with the help of newcomers Jelly and Casper and insight from her great-aunt Petunia’s stories, Sweet Pea gets to work. These characters and this town feel bursting with more stories to tell; readers will be grateful that this charming and smartly crafted mystery is just the start of a new series. Varon’s cute, brightly colored, bold-lined, and immediately recognizable art style is inviting and appealing, while chapter breaks make the story accessible and contribute to the narrative’s momentum. While the mystery is delightful, this story goes deeper thematically—which is made clear when Sweet Pea exclaims, “Everyone has a different perspective based on their own experiences.”

Sniffing around for an adorable, exciting, and thoughtful tale? This doggy detective delivers. (information on Varon’s character inspiration) (Graphic mystery. 7-12)

Pub Date: May 28, 2024

ISBN: 9781250348401

Page Count: 208

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: March 23, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2024

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THE WILD ROBOT PROTECTS

From the Wild Robot series , Vol. 3

Hugely entertaining, timely, and triumphant.

Robot Roz undertakes an unusual ocean journey to save her adopted island home in this third series entry.

When a poison tide flowing across the ocean threatens their island, Roz works with the resident creatures to ensure that they will have clean water, but the destruction of vegetation and crowding of habitats jeopardize everyone’s survival. Brown’s tale of environmental depredation and turmoil is by turns poignant, graceful, endearing, and inspiring, with his (mostly) gentle robot protagonist at its heart. Though Roz is different from the creatures she lives with or encounters—including her son, Brightbill the goose, and his new mate, Glimmerwing—she makes connections through her versatile communication abilities and her desire to understand and help others. When Roz accidentally discovers that the replacement body given to her by Dr. Molovo is waterproof, she sets out to seek help and discovers the human-engineered source of the toxic tide. Brown’s rich descriptions of undersea landscapes, entertaining conversations between Roz and wild creatures, and concise yet powerful explanations of the effect of the poison tide on the ecology of the island are superb. Simple, spare illustrations offer just enough glimpses of Roz and her surroundings to spark the imagination. The climactic confrontation pits oceangoing mammals, seabirds, fish, and even zooplankton against hardware and technology in a nicely choreographed battle. But it is Roz’s heroism and peacemaking that save the day.

Hugely entertaining, timely, and triumphant. (author’s note) (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2023

ISBN: 9780316669412

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Aug. 26, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2023

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CHARLOTTE'S WEB

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

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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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