Young sleuths will enjoy the easy mystery and the cheeky illustrations. More cases on the way! (Fantasy/mystery. 6-10)

FABIO THE WORLD'S GREATEST FLAMINGO DETECTIVE

THE CASE OF THE MISSING HIPPO

How does a hippo go missing? Fabio and Gilbert are on the case!

Bright pink Fabio is the world’s greatest flamingo detective, and his favorite place for a pink lemonade, taken in the company of his giraffe sidekick, Gilbert, is the Hotel Royale on the shores of Lake Laloozee. But all is not well there. Smith, the vulture who runs the place with his sister, chef Penelope, is none too keen on her daughter’s ideas to bring in more customers: Violet wants to have a talent contest. When head contest judge Daphne, a rhino who goes by “the General,” catches cold, Fabio takes her place…and then contestant Julia the hippo vanishes—from the stage. Was it a rival contestant? A crooked judge? Or is the disappearance connected to the strange events at the Gold Cup athletic competition, where many of the contestants seemed strangely sleepy? No need to fear with dapper, superobservant Fabio investigating. With this caper, James, British author of the Adventures of Pug chapter books, kicks off a new series of easy-reading mysteries peopled with jungle animals. Fox’s cartoons are offset by an arresting design that incorporates copious applications of bright pink and electric green. Characterization is broad: Fabio is quite self-assured and Gilbert, gangly and bumbling.

Young sleuths will enjoy the easy mystery and the cheeky illustrations. More cases on the way! (Fantasy/mystery. 6-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5476-0217-9

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: April 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2019

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

A TRUE HOME

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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A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends

WAITING IS NOT EASY!

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Gerald the elephant learns a truth familiar to every preschooler—heck, every human: “Waiting is not easy!”

When Piggie cartwheels up to Gerald announcing that she has a surprise for him, Gerald is less than pleased to learn that the “surprise is a surprise.” Gerald pumps Piggie for information (it’s big, it’s pretty, and they can share it), but Piggie holds fast on this basic principle: Gerald will have to wait. Gerald lets out an almighty “GROAN!” Variations on this basic exchange occur throughout the day; Gerald pleads, Piggie insists they must wait; Gerald groans. As the day turns to twilight (signaled by the backgrounds that darken from mauve to gray to charcoal), Gerald gets grumpy. “WE HAVE WASTED THE WHOLE DAY!…And for WHAT!?” Piggie then gestures up to the Milky Way, which an awed Gerald acknowledges “was worth the wait.” Willems relies even more than usual on the slightest of changes in posture, layout and typography, as two waiting figures can’t help but be pretty static. At one point, Piggie assumes the lotus position, infuriating Gerald. Most amusingly, Gerald’s elephantine groans assume weighty physicality in spread-filling speech bubbles that knock Piggie to the ground. And the spectacular, photo-collaged images of the Milky Way that dwarf the two friends makes it clear that it was indeed worth the wait.

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends . (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9957-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

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