Fast-paced fun. (Chapter book. 7-12)



From the Hooey Higgins series , Vol. 1

Best friends Hooey and Twig go to great lengths to raise money to buy a giant chocolate egg.

Mr. Danson wants to raise money to build a new shop window with his name etched into it, like a “true chocolatier.” Hooey and Twig just want his enormous oeuf en chocolat, which sports an equally oversized price tag. Being 8-year-olds, they are willing to take on the fundraising challenge, coming up with one plan after another. First, they try to catch a shark for the reward that they imagine will follow. While spilling ketchup to attract the shark, Hooey discovers a giant sea urchin and comes up with a plot to charge folks to see it. Things never go the way they are supposed to, of course, and the urchin proves to be more than the boys can handle. Over-the-top situations are matched perfectly with exaggerated black-and-white illustrations. Anything that skinny, spiky-haired Hooey doesn’t want to do will be embraced by big-eared Twig, including wearing a sandwich board and gluing straws in his hair to mimic a sea urchin. Mix in some underwear, a World War II sea mine and old guys wearing the Union Jack on their swim trunks, and you’ve got a romp that might just drag a few eyes away from the Wimpy Kid books.

Fast-paced fun. (Chapter book. 7-12)

Pub Date: April 24, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7636-5782-6

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2012

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Set in a candy factory as tantalizingly fragrant as Willy Wonka’s, this half-mystery, half–jigsaw-puzzle novel is a mild-mannered cousin to The Westing Game and When You Reach Me. Four 12-year-olds enter a candy-making contest. Logan lives in the confection plant with his parents, who own it; he narrates first, then the arc rewinds for the other contestants’ viewpoints. Miles, who witnessed a drowning, adds a poignant fragility in his portion. Daisy narrates and readers see—shockingly—that she’s a professional spy. Philip’s no spy, but his section reveals unsavory intentions on multiple levels. There’s no murder here—nor even death, it turns out; instead, there’s forgiveness, correction of dishonor and an alignment of seemingly disparate events. This isn’t fantasy, though it calls for a heaping cup of (enjoyable) suspension of disbelief (unflaggingly supportive grown-ups; chocolate pizza for lunch; adult confirmation that chocolate could potentially turn into gum and back again). Sweets fans will love the gooey sensory details. Earnest and sweet, with enough salty twists not to taste saccharine. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 5, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-316-00258-5

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Aug. 17, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2010

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Pippi is an inspired creation knit from daydreams.


A fresh delicious fantasy that children will love.

In the character of 9-year-old Pippi Longstocking, who was lucky to have no parents to tell her what to do, is a juvenile Robin Hood with the authority of Mammy Yokum and a Mighty Mouse. Pippi- red headed, in longstockings (one black and one brown), and the strongest girl in the world was the friend of Tommy and Annika. Calmly and ingeniously she put down the enemy forces of the adult world — with a serene efficiency. The teacher was baffled by her logic in pointing out the futility of learning arithmetic; bullies she hoisted on trees; at the circus Pippi rode bareback, walked the tightrope, and wrestled the wrestling champ; cream and sugar flowed (on the floor) when Pippi attended a ladies' coffee party where she revealed "horrid things" with the complacency of Eliza Doolittle. Champion of fun, freedom and fantasy and long happy thoughts,

Pippi is an inspired creation knit from daydreams.

Pub Date: Oct. 16, 1950

ISBN: 978-0-14-030957-7

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 1, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1950

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