These four neighbors are great company, and their portrayal of aging is sweetly refreshing. (Early reader. 6-9)

MR. PUTTER & TABBY RING THE BELL

From the Mr. Putter & Tabby series

Show-and-Tell will never be the same after Mr. Putter and Tabby and Mrs. Teaberry and Zeke are through.

Fall for Mr. Putter and his cat, Tabby, means crisp air, crunchy leaves and apples. But this year, the ringing of the school bell arouses a longing in Mr. Putter for school days gone by—globes, pencils, erasers. Just then, their neighbor’s dog, Zeke, streaks through the yard wearing half a cake on his head and sparks one of Mr. Putter’s infamous ideas. With Mrs. Teaberry as his accomplice, the two neighbors are soon scheduled to appear at first grade show-and-tell with their pets and their pet tricks…only Tabby and Zeke are not well known for any tricks. And by the end of the big day, the only trick they have done is a disappearing one: Zeke demolishes the class cupcakes, and then both skedaddle. Still, Mr. Putter gets to enjoy the school smells and sights and, especially, the children. And both he and Mrs. Teaberry enjoy laughing at the worst show-and-tell ever. Howard’s pencil, watercolor and gouache illustrations charmingly convey Mr. Putter’s longings, the mischievousness of his plan and his delight in being back in school. Rylant’s ever-fresh text will gracefully coax emergent readers into independence.

These four neighbors are great company, and their portrayal of aging is sweetly refreshing. (Early reader. 6-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-15-205071-9

Page Count: 44

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2011

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An uncomplicated opener, with some funny bits and a clear but not heavy agenda.

BOOKMARKS ARE PEOPLE TOO!

From the Here's Hank series , Vol. 1

Hank Zipzer, poster boy for dyslexic middle graders everywhere, stars in a new prequel series highlighting second-grade trials and triumphs.

Hank’s hopes of playing Aqua Fly, a comic-book character, in the upcoming class play founder when, despite plenty of coaching and preparation, he freezes up during tryouts. He is not particularly comforted when his sympathetic teacher adds a nonspeaking role as a bookmark to the play just for him. Following the pattern laid down in his previous appearances as an older child, he gets plenty of help and support from understanding friends (including Ashley Wong, a new apartment-house neighbor). He even manages to turn lemons into lemonade with a quick bit of improv when Nick “the Tick” McKelty, the sneering classmate who took his preferred role, blanks on his lines during the performance. As the aforementioned bully not only chokes in the clutch and gets a demeaning nickname, but is fat, boastful and eats like a pig, the authors’ sensitivity is rather one-sided. Still, Hank has a winning way of bouncing back from adversity, and like the frequent black-and-white line-and-wash drawings, the typeface is designed with easy legibility in mind.

An uncomplicated opener, with some funny bits and a clear but not heavy agenda. (Fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: Feb. 14, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-448-48239-2

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: Dec. 11, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

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Fans both young and formerly young will be pleased—100 percent.

HORTON AND THE KWUGGERBUG AND MORE LOST STORIES

Published in magazines, never seen since / Now resurrected for pleasure intense / Versified episodes numbering four / Featuring Marco, and Horton and more!

All of the entries in this follow-up to The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories (2011) involve a certain amount of sharp dealing. Horton carries a Kwuggerbug through crocodile-infested waters and up a steep mountain because “a deal is a deal”—and then is cheated out of his promised share of delicious Beezlenuts. Officer Pat heads off escalating, imagined disasters on Mulberry Street by clubbing a pesky gnat. Marco (originally met on that same Mulberry Street) concocts a baroque excuse for being late to school. In the closer, a smooth-talking Grinch (not the green sort) sells a gullible Hoobub a piece of string. In a lively introduction, uber-fan Charles D. Cohen (The Seuss, The Whole Seuss, and Nothing but the Seuss, 2002) provides publishing histories, places characters and settings in Seussian context, and offers insights into, for instance, the origin of “Grinch.” Along with predictably engaging wordplay—“He climbed. He grew dizzy. His ankles grew numb. / But he climbed and he climbed and he clum and he clum”—each tale features bright, crisply reproduced renditions of its original illustrations. Except for “The Hoobub and the Grinch,” which has been jammed into a single spread, the verses and pictures are laid out in spacious, visually appealing ways.

Fans both young and formerly young will be pleased—100 percent. (Picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 9, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-385-38298-4

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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