Fluffy, wholesome and, well, sparkly.

AUTUMN'S SECRET GIFT

From the Jim Henson's Enchanted Sisters series , Vol. 1

A new, sparkle-packed series introduces magical sisters who control the seasons.

Autumn, Winter, Spring and Summer are the Sparkles, the magical sisters with themed Sparkle Powers who change the seasons for the Outworlder humans through the Sparkle Ceremony. Autumn’s the most responsible and cautious of the four, the least likely to join a game of Sparkle-Dare, so it’s natural for Mother Nature to ask Autumn to be caretaker for a special birthday gift (a beautiful blanket) for her adviser, Serenity. But when Autumn tries to break out of her mold by joining in a game of Sparkle-Dare, she accidentally summons an uncontrollable wind that blows away the precious blanket. The sisters chase it through Winter’s Sparkledom, where they encounter the villainous Sleet. Sleet is one of the Weeds, a troublemaking set of bad-weather– and natural-disaster–themed brothers. The sisters defeat him and continue to chase the blanket throughout the Sparkledoms, only to lose it to Sleet’s tricky brother, Twister. The Weeds use it to set a trap for the Sparkles, but their inability to work as a team, plus Autumn’s lesson in discretion—determining when to leap impulsively and when to stop and plan—saves the day for the Sparkles. The blanket safely arrives at the birthday party, as do the villains—but as welcome guests. Cheerful spot illustrations showcase an ever smiling, diverse cartoon cast. The sheer number of iterations of “Sparkle” will determine this book’s audience.

Fluffy, wholesome and, well, sparkly. (Fantasy. 7-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 5, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-61963-256-1

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: May 28, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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Eeney meeney miney moe, catch this series before it goes! (Adventure. 7-9)

DANGER! TIGER CROSSING

From the Fantastic Frame series , Vol. 1

Two kids get up close and personal with some great works of art in this first in a new series.

Tiger Brooks is used to his little sister’s fantastical stories. So when the top-hatted orange pig she describes turns out to be not only real, but a next-door neighbor, Tiger enlists the help of his kooky new friend, Luna, to investigate. It turns out the pig works for the reclusive painter Viola Dots. Years ago a magical picture frame swallowed up her only son, and she’s searched for him in artworks ever since. When Tiger’s tinkering starts the magic up again, he and Luna are sucked into a reproduction of Henri Rousseau’s Surprised! or Tiger in a Tropical Storm, hungry predator and all. After meeting and failing to rescue Viola’s son in this adventure, the series is set up for the intrepid pair to infiltrate other classic paintings in the future. Backmatter provides information on the real Rousseau and his life. Oliver keeps the plot itself snappy and peppy. While there are few surprises, there’s also an impressive lack of lag time. This is helped in no small part by Kallis’ art, which goes from pen-and-ink drawings to full-blown color images once the kids cross over into the painting. Tiger is a white boy, and Luna is a dark-haired Latina.

Eeney meeney miney moe, catch this series before it goes! (Adventure. 7-9)

Pub Date: April 26, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-448-48087-9

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2016

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Italics and exclamation points may be overused, but this new humorous series is full of gently amusing magical surprises.

THE SUPER-SPOOKY FRIGHT NIGHT!

From the Hubble Bubble series , Vol. 1

Shades of Bewitched, the old TV show featuring a witch married to a regular guy.

This new chapter-book series stars Pandora, a white girl with two grandmas—the good witch, Granny Crow, in a patterned minidress, whose magical powers enliven any party or school outing, and Granny Podmore, in her cardigan and plaid skirt, a kind but stereotypical grandmother who cleans and cooks. Pandora’s friends include Nellie, a black girl, and Nellie’s mom is also depicted as black in the exuberant line drawings with gray washes. The three chapterlong adventures are rather tame, meant for readers who want fun rather than fright. In “The Super-Spooky Fright Night!” (all titles have exclamation points), the two grandmothers host a Halloween party. Granny Crow creates “bat-shaped cookies that hung around the bowls, and a custard cat (that actually meowed!).” Granny Podmore makes “the neatest swans” from napkins. Granny Crow conjures up musical broomsticks when Granny Podmore wants to introduce musical chairs. The evening ends happily when Granny Podmore uses Ollie, her vacuum cleaner, to suck up little pumpkins from Granny Crow’s pumpkin pop gone wild. Only Granny Crow appears in the other stories, making teddy bears come alive to give a “teddy bears’ picnic!” and causing a nasty teacher to accidentally cast a spell that turns a school swimming lesson into utter chaos.

Italics and exclamation points may be overused, but this new humorous series is full of gently amusing magical surprises. (Fantasy. 7-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 23, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7636-8653-6

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Nosy Crow/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: June 1, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

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