“Thankz, Buzz!” says the grateful guest of honor at the end. Readers will agree it’s the least a boy could do for his buzzom...

FLY GUY'S BIG FAMILY

From the Fly Guy series , Vol. 17

In this antic series’ 17th episode, Buzz throws his lonely pet fly a surprizze party.

Inspired by Fly Guy’s drawings of “Muzzer” and “Fazzer,” Buzz plants tiny invitations in every reeking trash can and pile of rot in the neighborhood—and opens the door to thousands of Fly Guy’s relatives, after assuring them there are no “swatterzz” on the premises. “Wow!” says Buzz, delighted. “Flies have big families!” Fly Guy too is delighted: “Bruzzer! / Sizzter! / … / Auntzie! / Unkz!” Buzz’s parents are, understandably, nonplussed, but Buzz has it all planned out…even to the catering, as a garbage truck drives up and dumps a heap of stinking refuse in the yard. Out fly the guests to chow down and play amid the noxious noshes. It’s a grand party, but time (as they say) flies, and ultimately the swarms disperse as the garbage is bagged up. As with all the Fly Guy books, Arnold makes the most of the contrast between readers’ received assumptions about flies and Buzz’s total ignorance of them, genially giving the former a 90-degree twist. Page-filling fleets of flies may give some readers (or their caregivers) pause, but it’s hard not to get a kick out of the way the flies tuck into their garbage banquet, and the baby picture of a larval Fly Guy with a pacifier is pretty darn cute.

“Thankz, Buzz!” says the grateful guest of honor at the end. Readers will agree it’s the least a boy could do for his buzzom buddy . (Early reader. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-545-66316-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2017

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PUG BLASTS OFF

From the Diary of a Pug series , Vol. 1

A cuddly, squishy pug’s puggy-wuggy diary.

Equipped with both #pugunicorn and #pughotdog outfits, pug Baron von Bubbles (aka Bub) is the kind of dog that always dresses to impress. Bub also makes lots of memorable faces, such as the “Hey, you’re not the boss of me!” expression aimed at Duchess, the snooty pink house cat. Some of Bub’s favorite things include skateboarding, a favorite teddy, and eating peanut butter. Bub also loves Bella, who adopted Bub from a fair—it was “love at first sniff.” Together, Bub and Bella do a lot of arts and crafts. Their latest project: entering Bella’s school’s inventor challenge by making a super-duper awesome rocket. But, when the pesky neighborhood squirrel, Nutz, makes off with Bub’s bear, Bub accidentally ruins their project. How will they win the contest? More importantly, how will Bella ever forgive him? May’s cutesy, full-color cartoon art sets the tone for this pug-tastic romp for the new-to–chapter-books crowd. Emojilike faces accentuate Bub’s already expressive character design. Bub’s infectious first-person narration pushes the silly factor off the charts. In addition to creating the look and feel of a diary, the lined paper helps readers follow the eight-chapter story. Most pages have fewer than five sentences, often broken into smaller sections. Additional text appears in color-coded speech bubbles. Bella presents white.

Totes adorbs. (Fiction. 5-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-53003-2

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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A strong, accessible diary story for readers seeking an adorable animal tale.

PUG'S SNOW DAY

From the Diary of a Pug series , Vol. 2

Bub the anxious pug tackles snow days and new neighbors in his second outing.

Bub, acclaimed by some as “the cutest pug on the planet,” at first shares the enthusiasm owner Bella expresses about snow days even though he doesn’t know what they are. Then Duchess the cat (mildly antagonistic, in typical feline fashion) rains on Bub’s parade by pointing out that snow is water—and Bub’s no fan of rain or baths. After a comedic and disastrous first attempt, Bub learns how to properly dress for snow and enjoy it. The outdoor fun’s cut short by mysterious noises coming from the new neighbor, which frighten Bella into thinking there’s a monster. Bub puts on a Sherlock Holmes get-up to investigate but becomes afraid himself of the new neighbor’s large dog. Finally, Bella meets Jack, who’s been working on a tree fort, and his dog, Luna, who is enthusiastically friendly. The story ends on a positive note, as they all happily work together on the fort. The full-color cartoon illustrations, especially of Bub, are adorably expressive and certain to please the age group. The generous font and format—short, diary-entry paragraphs and speech-bubble conversations—create a quick pace. Bub’s stylized emoji bubbles return and are most hilarious when used to express his nervous flatulence. Bella and Jack both present white.

A strong, accessible diary story for readers seeking an adorable animal tale. (Fantasy. 5-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-53006-3

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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