A gentle, mothercentric mystery that couldn’t be less threatening and a fine addition to the series.

A CASE FOR BUFFY

From the Detective Gordon series , Vol. 4

A very personal case for the detectives of the sweet little police station in the forest.

Detective Buffy (a young mouse) and Detective Gordon (an old toad) handle nice, small cases like lost scarves and naughty, littering children in their forest district. When two students from the local kindergarten, a baby toad and a baby mouse, come to train as “small police,” they mention their mothers so often that Buffy becomes sad. She doesn’t remember hers. Detective Gordon encourages her to write poetry to remember, and her verse leads to memories of her past. The four head out to Cave Island to discover what happened to Buffy’s newly remembered mother and siblings. The island is across a mountain and, of course, a bit of water—and there is a fox there to deal with…will he eat the police? Nilsson’s fourth case for kind, wise (and tired) Detective Gordon and his cake-loving mouse protégée is no less charming than its predecessors. Marshall’s deft, homey translation and Spee’s colorful, plentiful illustrations of anthropomorphic animals give the book the feel of a classic you just hadn’t discovered until now. A good choice for family reading time or newly minted readers of chapters.

A gentle, mothercentric mystery that couldn’t be less threatening and a fine addition to the series. (Mystery. 6-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-776571-78-9

Page Count: 108

Publisher: Gecko Press

Review Posted Online: May 28, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2018

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A plucky mouse finds her true home in this warm, winning tale.

A TRUE HOME

From the Heartwood Hotel series , Vol. 1

An orphan mouse unexpectedly arrives at Heartwood Hotel, which she hopes will become the home she’s seeking.

Mona’s never had a home for long. After a storm forces her to flee her latest forest shelter, she discovers an enormous tree with a heart carved into its trunk. When Mona presses the heart, a door opens, and she enters the lobby of Heartwood Hotel, where small forest critters hibernate, eat, and celebrate in safety. The kindhearted badger proprietor, Mr. Heartwood, takes pity on homeless Mona, allowing her to stay for the fall to assist the maid, Tilly, a red squirrel. Grateful to be at Heartwood, Mona strives to prove herself despite Tilly’s unfriendly attitude. Mona’s clever approaches with a wounded songbird, an anxious skunk, and a wayward bear win Mr. Heartwood’s approval. But when Mona accidentally breaks a rule, Tilly convinces her she will be fired. As Mona secretly leaves Heartwood, she discovers marauding wolves planning to crash Heartwood’s Snow Festival and devises a daring plan to save the place she regards as home. Charming anthropomorphic characters, humorous mishaps, and outside threats add to the drama. Delicate pencil illustrations reinforce Heartwood’s cozy home theme. A sequel, The Greatest Gift, publishes simultaneously.

A plucky mouse finds her true home in this warm, winning tale. (Animal fantasy. 7-10)

Pub Date: July 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4847-3161-1

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: April 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2017

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A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends

WAITING IS NOT EASY!

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Gerald the elephant learns a truth familiar to every preschooler—heck, every human: “Waiting is not easy!”

When Piggie cartwheels up to Gerald announcing that she has a surprise for him, Gerald is less than pleased to learn that the “surprise is a surprise.” Gerald pumps Piggie for information (it’s big, it’s pretty, and they can share it), but Piggie holds fast on this basic principle: Gerald will have to wait. Gerald lets out an almighty “GROAN!” Variations on this basic exchange occur throughout the day; Gerald pleads, Piggie insists they must wait; Gerald groans. As the day turns to twilight (signaled by the backgrounds that darken from mauve to gray to charcoal), Gerald gets grumpy. “WE HAVE WASTED THE WHOLE DAY!…And for WHAT!?” Piggie then gestures up to the Milky Way, which an awed Gerald acknowledges “was worth the wait.” Willems relies even more than usual on the slightest of changes in posture, layout and typography, as two waiting figures can’t help but be pretty static. At one point, Piggie assumes the lotus position, infuriating Gerald. Most amusingly, Gerald’s elephantine groans assume weighty physicality in spread-filling speech bubbles that knock Piggie to the ground. And the spectacular, photo-collaged images of the Milky Way that dwarf the two friends makes it clear that it was indeed worth the wait.

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends . (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9957-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

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