A gentle lesson to always listen to your inner hero and help others do the same.

SUPER MANNY CLEANS UP!

From the Super Manny series

Super Manny (Super Manny Stands Up!, 2017) returns to tackle an important environmental concern.

Inventive raccoon Manny and his hedgehog sidekick, Gertie (“Small One” from the duo’s previous outing), meet every weekend to rid the world of dangerous foes. They snap on their capes and proclaim: “We are mighty!… / We are awesome!… / We are tough!… / We are smart!” They wrestle menacing veggies at the farmers market, save the museum from stampeding dinosaurs, and befriend a 12-foot-tall purple yeti who just wants to play. Throughout, the creatures they imagine are rendered in translucent monochrome tones, differentiating them from the full-color real world the children move through. The most difficult monsters are often found in the park. While in the middle of a daring rescue to save the pond from alien space turtles, Manny and Gertie see a real turtle with a plastic soda ring around its neck. They take a look around and realize the whole park is covered with trash. It must be the work of litterbugs! (Tiny, frowning, brown imaginary insects stomp around, messing everything up.) However, more alarmingly, no one else seems to notice or care. Fighting apathy just might be the most difficult battle Manny and Gertie have ever faced.

A gentle lesson to always listen to your inner hero and help others do the same. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: July 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4814-5962-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: April 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2018

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An adorable adventure in cartography.

CAMILLA, CARTOGRAPHER

An exercise of spatial thinking through a snowy forest.

Camilla the warthog collects maps. Maps of stars, New York, even the London Tube. She even owns an ancient map of her forest. Unfortunately for her, she believes all lands have been explored and there is nothing new to chart. However, with a snowy morning comes a new opportunity. When her hedgehog neighbor, Parsley, asks for her help in finding the creek, Camilla quivers with excitement when she realizes the snow-covered land “is uncharted territory.” With all landmarks covered in snow, Camilla and Parsley must use their spatial-reasoning skills and a compass to find a new way to the creek. Their trailblazing journey proves a challenge as they keep bumping into trees, rocks, and walls. But when they find the creek, Camilla will have all the information and tools ready to draw out a new map, to break out in case of another snowfall. Wood’s delightful illustrations and Dillemuth’s expertise in the matter engage readers in the woodland creatures’ adventures. In addition, Dillemuth, who holds a doctorate in geography, provides activities in the backmatter for parents and caregivers to help children develop their own spatial-reasoning skills, such as sketching and reading maps or using cardinal directions.

An adorable adventure in cartography. (author’s note) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4338-3033-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Magination/American Psychological Association

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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Just the thing for anyone with a Grinch-y tree of their own in the yard.

THE HALLOWEEN TREE

A grouchy sapling on a Christmas tree farm finds that there are better things than lights and decorations for its branches.

A Grinch among the other trees on the farm is determined never to become a sappy Christmas tree—and never to leave its spot. Its determination makes it so: It grows gnarled and twisted and needle-less. As time passes, the farm is swallowed by the suburbs. The neighborhood kids dare one another to climb the scary, grumpy-looking tree, and soon, they are using its branches for their imaginative play, the tree serving as a pirate ship, a fort, a spaceship, and a dragon. But in winter, the tree stands alone and feels bereft and lonely for the first time ever, and it can’t look away from the decorated tree inside the house next to its lot. When some parents threaten to cut the “horrible” tree down, the tree thinks, “Not now that my limbs are full of happy children,” showing how far it has come. Happily for the tree, the children won’t give up so easily, and though the tree never wished to become a Christmas tree, it’s perfectly content being a “trick or tree.” Martinez’s digital illustrations play up the humorous dichotomy between the happy, aspiring Christmas trees (and their shoppers) and the grumpy tree, and the diverse humans are satisfyingly expressive.

Just the thing for anyone with a Grinch-y tree of their own in the yard. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4926-7335-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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