A potentially entertaining but challenging venture into the complex world of modern art that will have students and teachers...

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MODERN ART MAYHEM

SAVE THE DAY! CREATE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE AND SAVE THE GALLERY FROM DISASTER

Get ready for a fast-paced art-themed scavenger hunt in which a tousle-haired white preteen follows clues back and forth throughout the book.

The premise is that the gallery owner falls sick and puts the young protagonist, addressed as “you” throughout, in charge. “Your” job is to keep the collection safe, answer questions about paintings, mount an exhibition, and foil a robbery attempt by a rival gallery owner. The narrative on each page poses a question with three possible answers. To find the correct answer readers are referred to another page. The pages are visually confusing, as each one contains multiple disconnected elements: a scene from the narrative; three clues with graphic symbols; speech balloons and text blocks; and right and wrong answers to questions from other pages. While there are works in the gallery with which many will be familiar, including Edvard Munch’s The Scream and Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night, there are many obscure works that even the biggest art nerd would be unlikely to know. Here’s hoping there are plans to create an app, as this concept is relatively well-suited to an electronic platform, which would allow for easier navigation than flipping pages. Backmatter includes a glossary, artist index, and tips for adults on reading the book with children.

A potentially entertaining but challenging venture into the complex world of modern art that will have students and teachers reaching frequently for their reference books. (Nonfiction. 6-10)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-68297-038-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: QEB Publishing

Review Posted Online: Dec. 21, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2017

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Readers will be waiting to see how Charlie faces his next challenge in a series that marks a lovely change of pace from the...

CHARLIE BUMPERS VS. THE TEACHER OF THE YEAR

From the Charlie Bumpers series , Vol. 1

Charlie Bumpers is doomed. The one teacher he never wanted in the whole school turns out to be his fourth-grade teacher.

Charlie recalls third grade, when he accidentally hit the scariest teacher in the whole school with his sneaker. “I know all about you, Charlie Bumpers,” she says menacingly on the first day of fourth grade. Now, in addition to all the hardships of starting school, he has gotten off on the wrong foot with her. Charlie’s dry and dramatic narrative voice clearly reveals the inner life of a 9-year-old—the glass is always half empty, especially in light of a series of well-intentioned events gone awry. It’s quite a litany: “Hitting Mrs. Burke in the head with the sneaker. The messy desk. The swinging on the door. The toilet paper. And now this—the shoe on the roof.” Harley has teamed once again with illustrator Gustavson (Lost and Found, 2012) to create a real-life world in which a likable kid must face the everyday terrors of childhood: enormous bullies, looming teachers and thick gym coaches with huge pointing fingers. Into this series opener, Harley magically weaves the simple lesson that people, even teachers, can surprise you.

Readers will be waiting to see how Charlie faces his next challenge in a series that marks a lovely change of pace from the sarcasm of Wimpy Kid. (Fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-56145-732-8

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: Aug. 14, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2013

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An uncomplicated opener, with some funny bits and a clear but not heavy agenda.

BOOKMARKS ARE PEOPLE TOO!

From the Here's Hank series , Vol. 1

Hank Zipzer, poster boy for dyslexic middle graders everywhere, stars in a new prequel series highlighting second-grade trials and triumphs.

Hank’s hopes of playing Aqua Fly, a comic-book character, in the upcoming class play founder when, despite plenty of coaching and preparation, he freezes up during tryouts. He is not particularly comforted when his sympathetic teacher adds a nonspeaking role as a bookmark to the play just for him. Following the pattern laid down in his previous appearances as an older child, he gets plenty of help and support from understanding friends (including Ashley Wong, a new apartment-house neighbor). He even manages to turn lemons into lemonade with a quick bit of improv when Nick “the Tick” McKelty, the sneering classmate who took his preferred role, blanks on his lines during the performance. As the aforementioned bully not only chokes in the clutch and gets a demeaning nickname, but is fat, boastful and eats like a pig, the authors’ sensitivity is rather one-sided. Still, Hank has a winning way of bouncing back from adversity, and like the frequent black-and-white line-and-wash drawings, the typeface is designed with easy legibility in mind.

An uncomplicated opener, with some funny bits and a clear but not heavy agenda. (Fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: Feb. 14, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-448-48239-2

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: Dec. 11, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

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