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

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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. 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

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MR. POPPER'S PENGUINS

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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Move over Ramona Quimby, Portland has another neighbor you have to meet! (Fiction. 8-10)

WAYS TO MAKE SUNSHINE

Ryan Hart is navigating the fourth grade and all its challenges with determination.

Her mom named her Ryan because it means “king,” and she wanted Ryan to feel powerful every time she heard her name; Ryan knows it means she is a leader. So when changes occur or disaster strikes, budding chef Ryan does her best to find the positive and “make sunshine.” When her dad is laid off from the post office, the family must make adjustments that include moving into a smaller house, selling their car, and changing how they shop for groceries. But Ryan gets to stay at Vernon Elementary, and her mom still finds a way to get her the ingredients she needs to practice new recipes. Her older brother, Ray, can be bossy, but he finds little ways to support her, especially when she is down—as does the whole family. Each episodic chapter confronts Ryan with a situation; intermittently funny, frustrating, and touching, they should be familiar and accessible to readers, as when Ryan fumbles her Easter speech despite careful practice. Ryan, her family, and friends are black, and Watson continues to bring visibility to both Portland, Oregon, generally and its black community specifically, making another wonderful contribution that allows black readers to see themselves and all readers to find a character they can love.

Move over Ramona Quimby, Portland has another neighbor you have to meet! (Fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: April 28, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5476-0056-4

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Jan. 21, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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