CORK & FUZZ

In this droll take on the evergreen theme of unlikely friendships, a small, lonely muskrat and a newly met, considerably larger possum search gamely for common ground. At first, it doesn’t look good: Cork loves water and veggies, while Fuzz is into bugs and dry land; Fuzz gives Cork a scare by playing dead, then inadvertently sticks him with a thorn during an attempted game of pin-the-tail-on-the-turtle. Frizzed-up appealingly in McCue’s finely inked natural scenes, the two make expressive, recognizably childlike figures that will have young readers rooting for them to find a way—as indeed they do, after discovering a mutual love for collecting interesting pebbles. The comical contrast between Cork’s steady seriousness and Fuzz’s daffy streak—“ ‘Are you a duck?’ Fuzz asked. ‘Ducks go cork! cork!’ ‘Ducks do not go cork! cork!’ Cork said. ‘Ducks go quack! quack!’ ”—adds even more animation to this budding friendship. Readers will hope for sequels. (Easy reader. 5-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-670-03602-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2005

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FIRST GRADE, HERE I COME!

Henry has graduated from kindergarten, but that doesn’t mean he has necessarily left it behind. When his mother asks how his first day in first grade went, he says, “I didn’t like it because I missed kindergarten.” His mother encourages him to talk about it. As Henry goes about debriefing her, he develops a whole new picture. The teacher was new—and a man!—but he was also a good guy, as evidenced by the fact that he liked Henry’s pet worm. There were new kids, too, but Henry had already made a friend in Oswaldo. There was a cool science corner with a really fast guinea pig (discovered when you just happen to open Curly’s cage door). Minor problems are knit up, a little independence is dispensed and the first day of first grade turns out actually to be pretty neat. Prospective first-graders will find Carlson’s story enormously buoyant, floating those first-day cares away on the backs of her sweet, lopsided characters. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: July 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-670-06127-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2006

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PUG BLASTS OFF

From the Diary of a Pug series , Vol. 1

A cuddly, squishy pug’s puggy-wuggy diary.

Equipped with both #pugunicorn and #pughotdog outfits, pug Baron von Bubbles (aka Bub) is the kind of dog that always dresses to impress. Bub also makes lots of memorable faces, such as the “Hey, you’re not the boss of me!” expression aimed at Duchess, the snooty pink house cat. Some of Bub’s favorite things include skateboarding, a favorite teddy, and eating peanut butter. Bub also loves Bella, who adopted Bub from a fair—it was “love at first sniff.” Together, Bub and Bella do a lot of arts and crafts. Their latest project: entering Bella’s school’s inventor challenge by making a super-duper awesome rocket. But, when the pesky neighborhood squirrel, Nutz, makes off with Bub’s bear, Bub accidentally ruins their project. How will they win the contest? More importantly, how will Bella ever forgive him? May’s cutesy, full-color cartoon art sets the tone for this pug-tastic romp for the new-to–chapter-books crowd. Emojilike faces accentuate Bub’s already expressive character design. Bub’s infectious first-person narration pushes the silly factor off the charts. In addition to creating the look and feel of a diary, the lined paper helps readers follow the eight-chapter story. Most pages have fewer than five sentences, often broken into smaller sections. Additional text appears in color-coded speech bubbles. Bella presents white.

Totes adorbs. (Fiction. 5-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-53003-2

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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