Catnip for established fans.

WARRIORS

WINDS OF CHANGE

From the Warriors Graphic Novel series

Feral felines face power struggles after a regime change.

In this full-color graphic adaptation of the popular Warriors series, brown tabby Mudclaw is the deputy for the WindClan, one of the many cat clans residing in a new territory uninhabited by the Twolegs. As second-in-command, Mudclaw is poised to take over for WindClan’s leader, Tallstar, but as Tallstar’s health declines, he names a different successor, known as Onewhisker, dividing the clan and angering Mudclaw. When he is approached by a cat from a neighboring clan, Mudclaw begins to worry that Onewhisker will steer the clan in a more collaborative direction, something that he vehemently opposes. Dissension grows amid the shifting dynamics, secret alliances are formed, and soon the politics have turned positively catty. An unexpected and shocking ending does not disappoint. Barry’s kinetic illustrations give a visual boost for tracking the large cast of characters, and his bright jewel tones and the cats’ expressive faces enhance the atmosphere. Jolley’s tale is extremely timely, shining a light on the dangers of political isolationism and how easily the seeds of mistrust are sowed. The intrigue runs at a four-pawed fever pitch; however, those unfamiliar with this broad and sweeping world may find themselves lost in the copious character name-drops, virtually nonexistent recaps, and series-specific lexicon.

Catnip for established fans. (Graphic fantasy. 8-11)

Pub Date: June 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-06-304323-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: HarperAlley

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2021

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A dramatic, educational, authentic whale of a tale.

A WHALE OF THE WILD

After a tsunami devastates their habitat in the Salish Sea, a young orca and her brother embark on a remarkable adventure.

Vega’s matriarchal family expects her to become a hunter and wayfinder, with her younger brother, Deneb, protecting and supporting her. Invited to guide her family to their Gathering Place to hunt salmon, Vega’s underwater miscalculations endanger them all, and an embarrassed Vega questions whether she should be a wayfinder. When the baby sister she hoped would become her life companion is stillborn, a distraught Vega carries the baby away to a special resting place, shocking her grieving family. Dispatched to find his missing sister, Deneb locates Vega in the midst of a terrible tsunami. To escape the waters polluted by shattered boats, Vega leads Deneb into unfamiliar open sea. Alone and hungry, the young siblings encounter a spectacular giant whale and travel briefly with shark-hunting orcas. Trusting her instincts and gaining emotional strength from contemplating the vastness of the sky, Vega knows she must lead her brother home and help save her surviving family. In alternating first-person voices, Vega and Deneb tell their harrowing story, engaging young readers while educating them about the marine ecosystem. Realistic black-and-white illustrations enhance the maritime setting.

A dramatic, educational, authentic whale of a tale. (maps, wildlife facts, tribes of the Salish Sea watershed, environmental and geographical information, how to help orcas, author’s note, artist’s note, resources) (Animal fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-299592-6

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: July 1, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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This kid-friendly satire ably sets claws into a certain real-life franchise.

BAD KITTY GOES ON VACATION

From the Bad Kitty (chapter book) series

A trip to the Love Love Angel Kitty World theme park (“The Most Super Incredibly Happy Place on Earth!”) turns out to be an exercise in lowered expectations…to say the least.

When Uncle Murray wins a pair of free passes it seems at first like a dream come true—at least for Kitty, whose collection of Love Love Kitty merch ranges from branded underwear to a pink chainsaw. But the whole trip turns into a series of crises beginning with the (as it turns out) insuperable challenge of getting a cat onto an airplane, followed by the twin discoveries that the hotel room doesn’t come with a litter box and that the park doesn’t allow cats. Even kindhearted Uncle Murray finds his patience, not to say sanity, tested by extreme sticker shock in the park’s gift shop and repeated exposures to Kitty World’s literally nauseating theme song (notation included). He is not happy. Fortunately, the whole cloying enterprise being a fiendish plot to make people so sick of cats that they’ll pick poultry as favorite pets instead, the revelation of Kitty’s feline identity puts the all-chicken staff to flight and leaves the financial coffers plucked. Uncle Murray’s White, dumpy, middle-aged figure is virtually the only human one among an otherwise all-animal cast in Bruel’s big, rapidly sequenced, and properly comical cartoon panels.

This kid-friendly satire ably sets claws into a certain real-life franchise. (Graphic satire. 8-11)

Pub Date: Dec. 29, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-20808-8

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2020

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