A bright medley of friendship, problem-solving, and identity ideal for emerging readers looking for the next step up from...

BIRD & SQUIRREL ON THE EDGE!

From the Bird & Squirrel series , Vol. 3

Best friends Bird and Squirrel embark upon a new graphic-novel adventure, in which they make a new friend and find the dynamics of their friendship changing.

Sky-blue, acorn-hatted Squirrel is nervous. He's afraid of everything—even dust. His best friend, the lemon-yellow, aviator-goggled Bird, is fearless. One day, on a stroll through their woodland home, they spy a bear cub cornered by a vicious pair of wolves. Bird can’t stand to see two against one ("that’s not right,” he declares), so he hatches a plan to pelt the lupine bullies with pine cones. Timid Squirrel however, misfires and accidentally beans poor Bird, knocking him out. Now Bird cannot remember who—or what—he is, and Squirrel is left to protect Bear and Bird from the ferocious wolves. The pair’s established dynamics have now reversed, leaving Bird now fearful and unsure and Squirrel having to step up and muster his courage. Although it’s a rather gentle story of animal amity, Burks has adroitly managed to infuse it with a rollicking pace, cutely quirky characters, and lively illustrations that practically leap off the page, creating a subtle complexity that is usually missing from such buddy tales.

A bright medley of friendship, problem-solving, and identity ideal for emerging readers looking for the next step up from leveled readers. (Graphic fiction. 7-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-80425-7

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 22, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2015

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The three way chats, in which they are joined by other animals, about web spinning, themselves, other humans—are as often...

CHARLOTTE'S WEB

A successful juvenile by the beloved New Yorker writer portrays a farm episode with an imaginative twist that makes a poignant, humorous story of a pig, a spider and a little girl.

Young Fern Arable pleads for the life of runt piglet Wilbur and gets her father to sell him to a neighbor, Mr. Zuckerman. Daily, Fern visits the Zuckermans to sit and muse with Wilbur and with the clever pen spider Charlotte, who befriends him when he is lonely and downcast. At the news of Wilbur's forthcoming slaughter, campaigning Charlotte, to the astonishment of people for miles around, spins words in her web. "Some Pig" comes first. Then "Terrific"—then "Radiant". The last word, when Wilbur is about to win a show prize and Charlotte is about to die from building her egg sac, is "Humble". And as the wonderful Charlotte does die, the sadness is tempered by the promise of more spiders next spring.

The three way chats, in which they are joined by other animals, about web spinning, themselves, other humans—are as often informative as amusing, and the whole tenor of appealing wit and pathos will make fine entertainment for reading aloud, too.

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 1952

ISBN: 978-0-06-026385-0

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1952

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Dizzyingly silly.

CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS AND THE TYRANNICAL RETALIATION OF THE TURBO TOILET 2000

From the Captain Underpants series , Vol. 11

The famous superhero returns to fight another villain with all the trademark wit and humor the series is known for.

Despite the title, Captain Underpants is bizarrely absent from most of this adventure. His school-age companions, George and Harold, maintain most of the spotlight. The creative chums fool around with time travel and several wacky inventions before coming upon the evil Turbo Toilet 2000, making its return for vengeance after sitting out a few of the previous books. When the good Captain shows up to save the day, he brings with him dynamic action and wordplay that meet the series’ standards. The Captain Underpants saga maintains its charm even into this, the 11th volume. The epic is filled to the brim with sight gags, toilet humor, flip-o-ramas and anarchic glee. Holding all this nonsense together is the author’s good-natured sense of harmless fun. The humor is never gross or over-the-top, just loud and innocuous. Adults may roll their eyes here and there, but youngsters will eat this up just as quickly as they devoured every other Underpants episode.

Dizzyingly silly. (Humor. 8-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 26, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-545-50490-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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