Recycled art in a bit of trite ephemera perfect for the “impulse buy” shelf.

DR. SEUSS'S EVERY VOICE COUNTS!

MAKE YOURSELF HEARD!

A pocket-sized exhortation to speak out, illustrated with figures extracted from Dr. Seuss classics.

The anonymously composed text is cast in prose rather than Seussian doggerel, which is the best that can be said about it. Having first earnestly proclaimed the value of an individual voice—“You are unique. Your voice is UNIQUE”—the writer conversely suggests that “when you join your voice with others, BIG things can happen.” Following further hortatory prompts (“Be a TEACHER. / Be a LEADER”), the notion that oh, yes, you should also use your ears to listen to others drops in at the end as an afterthought: “So open your mouth—AND your ears! Because EVERY VOICE COUNTS!” The Cat in the Hat, the Lorax, the Fox in Socks, and other furry or feathered fantastical figures from unidentified titles parade past, all chosen to reflect the theme of each line. They are apparently unaltered except for some characters whose skin has been darkened, perhaps to introduce a note of diversity that was vanishingly rare in the originals (except, of course, for the racist images, which are absent here).

Recycled art in a bit of trite ephemera perfect for the “impulse buy” shelf. (Picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: July 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-12328-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 21, 2020

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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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A nifty high-seas caper for chapter-book readers with a love of adventure and a yearning for treasure.

THE PIRATE PIG

It’s not truffles but doubloons that tickle this porcine wayfarer’s fancy.

Funke and Meyer make another foray into chapter-book fare after Emma and the Blue Genie (2014). Here, mariner Stout Sam and deckhand Pip eke out a comfortable existence on Butterfly Island ferrying cargo to and fro. Life is good, but it takes an unexpected turn when a barrel washes ashore containing a pig with a skull-and-crossbones pendant around her neck. It soon becomes clear that this little piggy, dubbed Julie, has the ability to sniff out treasure—lots of it—in the sea. The duo is pleased with her skills, but pride goeth before the hog. Stout Sam hands out some baubles to the local children, and his largess attracts the unwanted attention of Barracuda Bill and his nasty minions. Now they’ve pignapped Julie, and it’s up to the intrepid sailors to save the porker and their own bacon. The succinct word count meets the needs of kids looking for early adventure fare. The tale is slight, bouncy, and amusing, though Julie is never the piratical buccaneer the book’s cover seems to suggest. Meanwhile, Meyer’s cheery watercolors are as comfortable diagramming the different parts of a pirate vessel as they are rendering the dread pirate captain himself.

A nifty high-seas caper for chapter-book readers with a love of adventure and a yearning for treasure. (Adventure. 7-9)

Pub Date: June 23, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-37544-3

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2015

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