Strong characters plus lots of laughs make this a welcome series for new readers, who will look forward to reading about all...



From the Mouse Scouts series , Vol. 1

Best friends Tigerlily and Violet earn merit badges and develop their leadership skills as newly minted Acorn Scouts.

After their time together in the Buttercups, both mice are ready for the rigors of being full-fledged Acorns. Whether it’s the acorn salute or the Mouse Scout pledge, earnest Violet is dedicated to the Scouts and their mission. Her best friend, Tigerlily, is something of a Type B—a good balance for Violet. Their first project is to grow vegetables. Violet loves the challenge, but Tigerlily needs a recon mission to the shed to get engaged. The scout troop is made up of all sorts of scouts, from lactose-intolerant Junebug to bored-out-of-her mind Hyacinth. They face all the challenges of gardening, from planting and watering to fighting off pests both small (bugs) and large (such raiders as rabbits and squirrels, who speak but do not wear clothes). Excerpts from the Mouse Scout Handbook add information about gardening and scout rules and keep the story moving along. Droll black-and-white pencil drawings add dimension and humor to each spread and help new chapter-book readers negotiate the challenge of long stretches of print. The second book in the series, Mouse Scouts Make a Difference, sees these scouts trying to effect positive change and finding that it is harder than they anticipated.

Strong characters plus lots of laughs make this a welcome series for new readers, who will look forward to reading about all 16 badges. (Animal fantasy. 7-10)

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-385-75599-3

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Sept. 16, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2015

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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

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This is rather a silly story, and I don't believe children will think it particularly funny. A paper hanger and painter finds time on his hands in winter, and spends it in reading of arctic exploration. It is all given reality when he receives a present of a penguin, which makes its nest in the refrigerator on cubes of ice, mates with a lonely penguin from the zoo, and produces a family of penguins which help set the Poppers on their feet.

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 1938

ISBN: 978-0-316-05843-8

Page Count: 139

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1938

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