A charming undersea tale stressing the importance of not being sel-fish.


From the Squidding Around series

A self-serving squid learns a lesson about friendship.

Set many leagues under the sea on a bright and cheery ocean bed, this series opener introduces Squizzard, a tomato-red squid with an outsize personality. His best friend is Toothy, a vegetarian great white shark who has legs and wears pants. They may be fish and cephalopod, but the routines of their friendship are familiar: They hunt for shells, build reef forts, and concoct elaborate games of pretend. However, a power imbalance is quickly evident as Squizzard casts himself in all the best roles, always leaving Toothy overshadowed. When Squizzard carelessly forgets his report and asks Toothy to cover for him in class, Toothy finally gets mad and declares their friendship over. With the help and gentle guidance of a kind seahorse, Squizzard decides to find the right path to win Toothy back. Readers will delight as Squizzard tries to change his egotistical ways; it is not a quick nor easy transition, and his silly missteps ring comically true. Author/illustrator Sherry brings an empathetic tale of self-examination and change to life with easy-to-read chapters and an eye-catching comics format, with colors by Dzioba. Sherry also skillfully weaves facts about ocean life into the narrative. Bubbly and undeniably cute, this is a must-read for fans of the Narwhal and Jelly series.

A charming undersea tale stressing the importance of not being sel-fish. (Graphic fantasy. 7-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-338-63668-0

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2020

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


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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This is rather a silly story, and I don't believe children will think it particularly funny. A paper hanger and painter finds time on his hands in winter, and spends it in reading of arctic exploration. It is all given reality when he receives a present of a penguin, which makes its nest in the refrigerator on cubes of ice, mates with a lonely penguin from the zoo, and produces a family of penguins which help set the Poppers on their feet.

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 1938

ISBN: 978-0-316-05843-8

Page Count: 139

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1938

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