The believable plot and inherent suspense will keep readers turning the pages of this fine addition to early chapter books,...

LOST! A DOG CALLED BEAR

From the Rainbow Street Shelter series , Vol. 1

With a limited vocabulary perfect for readers just edging into chapter books, the tale of Logan’s efforts to locate his lost dog rings completely true.

After Logan’s parents separate, he and his mother and Border collie, Bear, head for a new home in the suburbs, but Bear gets lost. Shortly afterward, Hannah’s father finds the missing pet in the back of his truck. Hannah is desperate for a pet, but her parents decide to leave the dog at the Rainbow Street Shelter (the name of this new series) to give him his best chance for return to his owners. There Hannah begins volunteering with the animals, recognizing their need for affection. Logan, miserable over leaving his family’s farm and his parents’ break-up, is devastated by the loss of his beloved dog. As his parents try to track down Bear and Hannah’s parents recognize her growing level of responsibility, glimmers of hope appear for both children. While the very brief text, accompanied by frequent attractive black-and-white illustrations, doesn’t give room for extensive character development, the essentials are effectively captured.

The believable plot and inherent suspense will keep readers turning the pages of this fine addition to early chapter books, which will resonate with both pet lovers and children involved in divorces. (Fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-8050-8931-8

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: June 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2011

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Dizzyingly silly.

CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS AND THE TYRANNICAL RETALIATION OF THE TURBO TOILET 2000

From the Captain Underpants series , Vol. 11

The famous superhero returns to fight another villain with all the trademark wit and humor the series is known for.

Despite the title, Captain Underpants is bizarrely absent from most of this adventure. His school-age companions, George and Harold, maintain most of the spotlight. The creative chums fool around with time travel and several wacky inventions before coming upon the evil Turbo Toilet 2000, making its return for vengeance after sitting out a few of the previous books. When the good Captain shows up to save the day, he brings with him dynamic action and wordplay that meet the series’ standards. The Captain Underpants saga maintains its charm even into this, the 11th volume. The epic is filled to the brim with sight gags, toilet humor, flip-o-ramas and anarchic glee. Holding all this nonsense together is the author’s good-natured sense of harmless fun. The humor is never gross or over-the-top, just loud and innocuous. Adults may roll their eyes here and there, but youngsters will eat this up just as quickly as they devoured every other Underpants episode.

Dizzyingly silly. (Humor. 8-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 26, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-545-50490-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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With plenty left to be resolved, the next entry will be eagerly sought after.

RISE OF THE EARTH DRAGON

From the Dragon Masters series , Vol. 1

Drake has been selected by the king to serve as a Dragon Master, quite a change for an 8-year-old farmer boy.

The dragons are a secret, and the reason King Roland has them is a mystery, but what is clear is that the Dragon Stone has identified Drake as one of the rare few children who have a special connection with dragons and the ability to serve as a trainer. Drake’s dragon is a long brown creature with, at first, no particular talents that Drake can identify. He calls the dragon Worm. It isn’t long before Drake begins to realize he has a very strong connection with Worm and can share what seem to be his dragon’s thoughts. After one of the other Dragon Masters decides to illicitly take the dragons outside, disaster strikes. The cave they are passing through collapses, blocking the passageway, and then Worm’s special talent becomes evident. The first of a new series of early chapter books, this entry is sure to attract fans. Brief chapters, large print, lots of action, attractive illustrations in every spread, including a maplike panorama, an enviable protagonist—who wouldn’t want to be a Dragon Master?—all combine to make an entertaining read.

With plenty left to be resolved, the next entry will be eagerly sought after. (Fantasy. 7-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 24, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-545-64624-6

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Branches/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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