This field trip to remember will appeal to eager chapter-book readers, fans of talking-animal stories, and teachers looking...


Schoolyard squirrel Twitch has scientific questions but no answers, so he joins a class trip to the Galileo Museum and Science Center.

Stowing away on the school bus is just the first of Twitch’s adventures on this field trip, all breathlessly recounted in a first-person, present-tense narration that exposes his squirrel-centered understanding of the world. Chapter-book readers will both recognize his quirks, including his preoccupation with food, and enjoy a sense of superiority in their wider understanding. For this third title in a series that began with 8 Class Pets + 1 Squirrel ÷1 Dog = Chaos (2011), the author-illustrator pair have perfected their formula for entertainment—a limited perspective, slapstick humor, and nonstop action. Twitch is protected inside the museum by a white boy who uses a wheelchair, often shown among his racially diverse classmates in Björkman’s amusing sketches. Other images show Twitch atop an astonished girl’s head, scaring her more than the animatronic T. Rex behind her; Twitch wreaking havoc in the museum’s gift shop; driving a model Mars rover; and flying over a Bernoulli air pressure table. Framed by conversations with science lab geckos Galileo and Newton (among the narrators in the first book), these Twitch episodes stand alone but will certainly lead readers and listeners to look for more.

This field trip to remember will appeal to eager chapter-book readers, fans of talking-animal stories, and teachers looking for an engaging read-aloud. (Fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: March 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4167-9

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2019

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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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