Delightfully nutty chapter-book fare.



On a particularly cold, snowy afternoon, Twitch the squirrel decides to take up the next-door dog's invitation to go Inside, where the two wreak havoc before leading the man of the house Outside to rescue a small child.

Twitch understands that the world has been designed for squirrels. “Squirrels are everybody’s best friend.” Cold and curious one winter day, Squirrel heads for the “grand brick entryway…straight down from the roof right into the heart of the house.” There, he finds mysterious objects everywhere, as well as many delicious foods to eat. But Twitch is not the only guest; young relatives are also visiting today. When the dog and the youngest visitor chase Twitch, many things get broken. The child is blamed, runs Outside into the cold and snow, falls, and hurts his ankle so he can't get up. As a “polite guest of honor,” Twitch knows he has a duty to alert the people to find him, but how? This humorous story is told cheerfully from the squirrel's extremely filtered perspective in present tense, with a surprisingly elevated language. (After all, he is “highly educated.”) Readers do not have to have read 8 Class Pets + 1 Squirrel ÷ 1 Dog = Chaos (2011) to enjoy this squirrel's-eye view of the world and the slapstick humor. Short chapters illustrated with pen-and-ink line drawings add to the appeal.

Delightfully nutty chapter-book fare. (Fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-8234-3633-0

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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


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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