INVISIBLE INKLING

From the Invisible Inkling series , Vol. 1

Nine-year-old Hank Wolowitz fears the prospect of fourth grade at New York’s PS 166 without friends—his best friend Alexander just moved away (against his will). Sasha Chin from downstairs doesn’t really count as a friend, because she has three good girl friends she hangs out with half the time. When Hank reaches for a Lego piece under the sink of his family’s ice-cream shop, Big Round Pumpkin, and feels fur where it shouldn’t be and days later sees a waffle cone disappear bite by bite, he knows something is fishy. After Rootbeer, the neighbor’s dog, goes bananas barking at nothing in the hallway, Hank discovers he has accidentally saved an invisible, furry Bandapat named Inkling. Inkling, who loves squash and can be a stranger to the truth, feels he owes Hank a debt and must stick around until he can save Hank’s life. An opportunity for that just might arise, since bully Bruno Gillicut has decided that Hank annoys him and must pay by forking over his dessert at lunch every day. Jenkins’ possible series starter (given the hints at the close) is a gently humorous and nicely realistic (with the obvious exception of the invisible Peruvian Bandapat) tale about coping with the loss of a lifelong best friend. (The book will feature Bliss’ signature black-and-white illustrations, but no art was available at the time of review.) Anyone who who has ever had an imaginary friend will appreciate sassy Inkling (who’s invisible—not imaginary). (Fantasy. 7-10)

Pub Date: April 26, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-06-180220-1

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: April 6, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A fitting farewell, still funny, acute, and positive in its view of human nature even in its 37th episode.

HORRIBLE HARRY SAYS GOODBYE

From the Horrible Harry series , Vol. 37

A long-running series reaches its closing chapters.

Having, as Kline notes in her warm valedictory acknowledgements, taken 30 years to get through second and third grade, Harry Spooger is overdue to move on—but not just into fourth grade, it turns out, as his family is moving to another town as soon as the school year ends. The news leaves his best friend, narrator “Dougo,” devastated…particularly as Harry doesn’t seem all that fussed about it. With series fans in mind, the author takes Harry through a sort of last-day-of-school farewell tour. From his desk he pulls a burned hot dog and other items that featured in past episodes, says goodbye to Song Lee and other classmates, and even (for the first time ever) leads Doug and readers into his house and memento-strewn room for further reminiscing. Of course, Harry isn’t as blasé about the move as he pretends, and eyes aren’t exactly dry when he departs. But hardly is he out of sight before Doug is meeting Mohammad, a new neighbor from Syria who (along with further diversifying a cast that began as mostly white but has become increasingly multiethnic over the years) will also be starting fourth grade at summer’s end, and planning a written account of his “horrible” buddy’s exploits. Finished illustrations not seen.

A fitting farewell, still funny, acute, and positive in its view of human nature even in its 37th episode. (Fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: Nov. 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-451-47963-1

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Sept. 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A plucky mouse finds her true home in this warm, winning tale.

A TRUE HOME

From the Heartwood Hotel series , Vol. 1

An orphan mouse unexpectedly arrives at Heartwood Hotel, which she hopes will become the home she’s seeking.

Mona’s never had a home for long. After a storm forces her to flee her latest forest shelter, she discovers an enormous tree with a heart carved into its trunk. When Mona presses the heart, a door opens, and she enters the lobby of Heartwood Hotel, where small forest critters hibernate, eat, and celebrate in safety. The kindhearted badger proprietor, Mr. Heartwood, takes pity on homeless Mona, allowing her to stay for the fall to assist the maid, Tilly, a red squirrel. Grateful to be at Heartwood, Mona strives to prove herself despite Tilly’s unfriendly attitude. Mona’s clever approaches with a wounded songbird, an anxious skunk, and a wayward bear win Mr. Heartwood’s approval. But when Mona accidentally breaks a rule, Tilly convinces her she will be fired. As Mona secretly leaves Heartwood, she discovers marauding wolves planning to crash Heartwood’s Snow Festival and devises a daring plan to save the place she regards as home. Charming anthropomorphic characters, humorous mishaps, and outside threats add to the drama. Delicate pencil illustrations reinforce Heartwood’s cozy home theme. A sequel, The Greatest Gift, publishes simultaneously.

A plucky mouse finds her true home in this warm, winning tale. (Animal fantasy. 7-10)

Pub Date: July 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4847-3161-1

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: April 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

more