A silly and fast-paced adventure that’s sure to appeal to pet lovers.

WEDGIE & GIZMO VS. THE TOOF

Wedgie, a slow-witted, exuberantly enthusiastic dog, and Gizmo, a conniving, Evil Genius guinea pig, share their newly blended household with Jasmine and Jackson, and their stepsib, Elliot.

Wedgie, generating a little good-natured bathroom humor, lives in the moment, savoring Gizmo poop just as much as a stolen muffin. Gizmo is a schemer in this, their second adventure, as he finds a way to acquire a drone he can ride by simply ordering it on the internet. In another plotline, Jasmine is jealous of Elliot’s trophies and is determined to get one of her own by winning a school pet contest with Wedgie. Pinkie, a pig that’s just moved in, presents some competition, especially since Wedgie isn’t much of a thinker and Pinkie knows plenty of tricks. Although Gizmo’s thwarted in his scheme to shrink Wedgie and Pinkie in the dryer, the arrival of his drone offers new opportunities. Only Abuela, Jasmine and Jackson’s elderly grandmother from Peru, is on to Gizmo’s schemes, and she proves to be an enabler, bringing the drone to the pet contest so that Gizmo can create the havoc he aspires to, with Wedgie saving the day. The brief text is liberally sprinkled with Fisinger’s lively illustrations, which depict this blended family as an interracial one.

A silly and fast-paced adventure that’s sure to appeal to pet lovers. (Fantasy. 7-10)

Pub Date: April 17, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-244765-4

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

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A welcome, well-researched reflection of cultural pride in the early-reader landscape.

RAFI AND ROSI MUSIC!

From the Rafi and Rosi series

The fourth installment in Delacre’s early-reader series centers on the rich musical traditions of Puerto Rico, once again featuring sibling tree frogs Rafi and Rosi Coquí.

Readers learn along with Rafi and Rosi as they explore bomba, plena, and salsa in three chapters. A glossary at the beginning sets readers up well to understand the Spanish vocabulary, including accurate phoneticization for non-Spanish speakers. The stories focus on Rafi and Rosi’s relationship within a musical context. For example, in one chapter Rafi finds out that he attracts a larger audience playing his homemade güiro with Rosi’s help even though he initially excluded her: “Big brothers only.” Even when he makes mistakes, as the older brother, Rafi consoles Rosi when she is embarrassed or angry at him. In each instance, their shared joy for music and dance ultimately shines through any upsets—a valuable reflection of unity. Informational backmatter and author’s sources are extensive. Undoubtedly these will help teachers, librarians, and parents to develop Puerto Rican cultural programs, curriculum, or home activities to extend young readers’ learning. The inclusion of instructions to make one’s own homemade güiro is a thoughtful addition. The Spanish translation, also by Delacre and published simultaneously, will require a more advanced reader than the English one to recognize and comprehend contractions (“pa’bajo-pa-pa’rriba”) and relatively sophisticated vocabulary.

A welcome, well-researched reflection of cultural pride in the early-reader landscape. (Early reader. 7-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-89239-429-6

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Children's Book Press

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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Having put together a band with renowned cousin Duck Ellington and singer “Bee” Holiday, Rooster’s chances sure look...

ACOUSTIC ROOSTER AND HIS BARNYARD BAND

Winning actually isn’t everything, as jazz-happy Rooster learns when he goes up against the legendary likes of Mules Davis and Ella Finchgerald at the barnyard talent show.

Having put together a band with renowned cousin Duck Ellington and singer “Bee” Holiday, Rooster’s chances sure look good—particularly after his “ ‘Hen from Ipanema’ [makes] / the barnyard chickies swoon.”—but in the end the competition is just too stiff. No matter: A compliment from cool Mules and the conviction that he still has the world’s best band soon puts the strut back in his stride. Alexander’s versifying isn’t always in tune (“So, he went to see his cousin, / a pianist of great fame…”), and despite his moniker Rooster plays an electric bass in Bower’s canted country scenes. Children are unlikely to get most of the jokes liberally sprinkled through the text, of course, so the adults sharing it with them should be ready to consult the backmatter, which consists of closing notes on jazz’s instruments, history and best-known musicians.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-58536-688-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press

Review Posted Online: July 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2011

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