With humor and sympathy for her appealing protagonist and his secret friend, Jenkins continues a strong series for readers...

THE WHOOPIE PIE WAR

From the Invisible Inkling series , Vol. 3

A whoopie-pie truck threatens the Wolowitz family ice cream business in this third adventure starring fourth-grader Hank and his invisible bandapat friend, Inkling.

While Hank’s father desperately tries to compete with the interloper, whose whoopie-pie ice cream filling is not local or organic but whose pumpkin cake is delicious, Hank has his own struggles. His one-time friend Patne now spends more time with Henry Kim. And unlike his neighbor Chin and the two boys he calls his half-friends, he’s been relegated to the Neons, the beginner section in swim class. Inkling tries to help him, but it’s hard to learn swimming moves from someone invisible. And it’s still important to keep Inkling’s existence a secret. For readers new to this (mostly) realistic series set in the author’s own Brooklyn, Hank and Inkling offer background in the opening chapter. Those who’ve been with the two since the beginning of the school year will be pleased to see Hank developing focus and to see them both finding friends. The first-person narrative moves along briskly, with plenty of dialogue and Bliss’ grayscale illustrations to break up the pages. (Final art not seen.)

With humor and sympathy for her appealing protagonist and his secret friend, Jenkins continues a strong series for readers of short chapter books. (Fantasy. 7-10)

Pub Date: July 23, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-06-180226-3

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 15, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2013

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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

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Good-hearted fun—great for fans of Kit Feeny and Babymouse.

MEET THE BIGFEET

From the Yeti Files series , Vol. 1

It’s a Bigfeet family reunion!

Everyone’s favorite frosty, furry cryptid, the yeti, actually has a name: Blizz Richards. From his supersecret HQ in Nepal he keeps in touch with his fellow cryptids, all of whom have sworn an oath to keep themselves hidden. That’s not always easy, especially when there are cryptozoologists, like the nasty (but bumbling) George Vanquist, who are always trying to expose the secretive creatures. Vanquist got a picture of Blizz’s cousin Brian near his home in British Columbia, causing the mortified Brian to disappear entirely. When Blizz receives an invitation to a Bigfeet family reunion in Canada, he calls his buddies Alexander (one of Santa’s elves), Gunthar (a goblin) and Frank the Arctic fox to help him get ready. When they arrive in Canada, Brian is still nowhere to be seen. Can Blizz and his skunk ape and other sasquatch cousins find Brian, have the reunion and evade Vanquist? If anyone can, the Bigfeet clan can. Illustrator Sherry’s first volume in the Yeti Files is a fast and funny graphic-prose tale full of labeled pictures and comic-style panels. Those just starting chapter books may have some trouble with a few big words, but they’ll enjoy the big friendly monsters and immediately ask for the next tale—which looks to be about the Loch Ness monster.

Good-hearted fun—great for fans of Kit Feeny and Babymouse. (Graphic/fantasy hybrid. 7-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 30, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-545-55617-0

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 28, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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