For girls who love glittery nail polish and their friends and who hope to make the world a better place.

COCO

MY DELICIOUS LIFE

From the Lotus Lane series , Vol. 2

The bubbly girls of Lotus Lane are back.

Meet Kiki, budding fashionista; Lulu, the girl with movie-star knowledge and plenty of plans; new neighbor Mika; and last, but not least, Coco: future ecologist, animal lover, gardening expert, member of a large Italian family and cupcake baker extraordinaire. Told through Coco’s point of view in a diary format that includes drawings, lists, quotes, texts and recipes, the rather disjointed plot is focused on the girls’ plan to raise money through a cupcake sale to make a garden home for some endangered snails Coco’s scientist father is rescuing. Meanwhile, an unfortunate string of events occurs, and Coco suspects that a homeless black kitten may be to blame. Eventually, everything falls into place. The kitten is proven innocent and finds a home, Coco’s friendship with Mika deepens, and some local snails have a new garden at school. Though the minimal character development, thin plot and excessive use of exclamation points may put off some readers, and those new to chapter books may have a hard time with the diary format, this selection has more depth than the first in the series and possesses the same trendiness and warmth. 

For girls who love glittery nail polish and their friends and who hope to make the world a better place. (Fiction. 6-8)

Pub Date: July 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-545-49615-5

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Branches/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 1, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2013

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The buoyant uplift seems a bit pre-packaged but spot-on nonetheless.

THE WORLD NEEDS MORE PURPLE PEOPLE

A monohued tally of positive character traits.

Purple is a “magic color,” affirm the authors (both actors, though Hart’s name recognition is nowhere near the level of Bell’s), and “purple people” are the sort who ask questions, laugh wholeheartedly, work hard, freely voice feelings and opinions, help those who might “lose” their own voices in the face of unkindness, and, in sum, can “JUST BE (the real) YOU.” Unlike the obsessive protagonist of Victoria Kann’s Pinkalicious franchise, being a purple person has “nothing to do with what you look like”—a point that Wiseman underscores with scenes of exuberantly posed cartoon figures (including versions of the authors) in casual North American attire but sporting a wide range of ages, skin hues, and body types. A crowded playground at the close (no social distancing here) displays all this wholesome behavior in action. Plenty of purple highlights, plus a plethora of broad smiles and wide-open mouths, crank up the visual energy—and if the earnest overall tone doesn’t snag the attention of young audiences, a grossly literal view of the young narrator and a grandparent “snot-out-our-nose laughing” should do the trick. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10.4-by-20.6-inch double-page spreads viewed at 22.2% of actual size.)

The buoyant uplift seems a bit pre-packaged but spot-on nonetheless. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-12196-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2020

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A close encounter of the best kind.

FIELD TRIP TO THE MOON

Left behind when the space bus departs, a child discovers that the moon isn’t as lifeless as it looks.

While the rest of the space-suited class follows the teacher like ducklings, one laggard carrying crayons and a sketchbook sits down to draw our home planet floating overhead, falls asleep, and wakes to see the bus zooming off. The bright yellow bus, the gaggle of playful field-trippers, and even the dull gray boulders strewn over the equally dull gray lunar surface have a rounded solidity suggestive of Plasticine models in Hare’s wordless but cinematic scenes…as do the rubbery, one-eyed, dull gray creatures (think: those stress-busting dolls with ears that pop out when squeezed) that emerge from the regolith. The mutual shock lasts but a moment before the lunarians eagerly grab the proffered crayons to brighten the bland gray setting with silly designs. The creatures dive into the dust when the bus swoops back down but pop up to exchange goodbye waves with the errant child, who turns out to be an olive-skinned kid with a mop of brown hair last seen drawing one of their new friends with the one crayon—gray, of course—left in the box. Body language is expressive enough in this debut outing to make a verbal narrative superfluous.

A close encounter of the best kind. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: May 14, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4253-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Margaret Ferguson/Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Feb. 6, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

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