“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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A first-rate sharkfest, unusually nutritious for all its brevity.

FLY GUY PRESENTS: SHARKS

From the Fly Guy series

Buzz and his buzzy buddy open a spinoff series of nonfiction early readers with an aquarium visit.

Buzz: “Like other fish, sharks breathe through gills.” Fly Guy: “GILLZZ.” Thus do the two pop-eyed cartoon tour guides squire readers past a plethora of cramped but carefully labeled color photos depicting dozens of kinds of sharks in watery settings, along with close-ups of skin, teeth and other anatomical features. In the bite-sized blocks of narrative text, challenging vocabulary words like “carnivores” and “luminescence” come with pronunciation guides and lucid in-context definitions. Despite all the flashes of dentifrice and references to prey and smelling blood in the water, there is no actual gore or chowing down on display. Sharks are “so cool!” proclaims Buzz at last, striding out of the gift shop. “I can’t wait for our next field trip!” (That will be Fly Guy Presents: Space, scheduled for September 2013.)

A first-rate sharkfest, unusually nutritious for all its brevity. (Informational easy reader. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-545-50771-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Feb. 18, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2013

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For fans of Evert and Breiehagen’s Wish Book series.

THE POLAR BEAR WISH

Anja and her dog, Birki, do their best to get to a Christmas party in a frozen Nordic landscape.

Anja wishes she had a dog sled to harness Birki to in order to get to the party. The next morning, her cousin Erik appears with his dog sled and an offer to take her there. Lost in a blizzard, they encounter talking wolves who take them to a tent where they can spend the night. A baby polar bear named Tiny appears, separated from his mother. The following day takes them all on an adventure through glaciers and fjords, past an ice castle, and finally to Tiny’s mother and to the party. This digitally produced book is illustrated with photographs that capture the Nordic setting. Unfortunately, the overall effect is weirdly flat, with elements awkwardly set together in images that lack depth. A polar bear perches awkwardly on top of oddly scaled pack ice; Anja and Erik spend a night in the ice castle in niches chiseled into the wall, but they seem oddly disconnected from it. The book has an old-fashioned, European feel; the white, blond children’s red caps and traditional clothing stand out against the dim, bluish winter light. But the wooden, overlong text does little to cultivate the magical fantasy feeling that it’s aiming for.

For fans of Evert and Breiehagen’s Wish Book series. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6566-8

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Aug. 20, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2018

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