Filled with familiar Clementine charm but, more importantly, a whole lot of heart, too.

CLEMENTINE AND THE FAMILY MEETING

Clementine has had many not-so-good days. But this one just might be the worst.

She loses her favorite hat, her science project is ruined and the “family meeting!” sign is up on the refrigerator—that's never a good thing. Even though family meetings are supposed to be about family issues, Clementine usually ends up getting in trouble. But this one is different. Clementine’s dad announces that their family is going to grow. Are they are getting a gorilla, like Clementine has always wanted?! No. It’s a new baby. Clementine is N-O-T, not happy. They are a family of four. Four is a perfect number. In infallible Clementine reasoning: “Four can be two and two sometimes, and nobody is lonely. Two kids and two grown-ups. Two boys and two girls. There are four sides to the kitchen table, so we each get one.” Five just doesn’t work. Pennypacker tackles the oft-written new-baby theme from a refreshing, older perspective; jealousy is not the foremost emotion, it’s vulnerability. Everything is changing too fast. Clementine and her dad have always had a unique bond, but in this venture, he especially shines. He picks up on unspoken feelings and knows just how to give the right amount of comfort.

Filled with familiar Clementine charm but, more importantly, a whole lot of heart, too. (Fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4231-2356-9

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Aug. 3, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2011

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Good-hearted fun—great for fans of Kit Feeny and Babymouse.

MEET THE BIGFEET

From the Yeti Files series , Vol. 1

It’s a Bigfeet family reunion!

Everyone’s favorite frosty, furry cryptid, the yeti, actually has a name: Blizz Richards. From his supersecret HQ in Nepal he keeps in touch with his fellow cryptids, all of whom have sworn an oath to keep themselves hidden. That’s not always easy, especially when there are cryptozoologists, like the nasty (but bumbling) George Vanquist, who are always trying to expose the secretive creatures. Vanquist got a picture of Blizz’s cousin Brian near his home in British Columbia, causing the mortified Brian to disappear entirely. When Blizz receives an invitation to a Bigfeet family reunion in Canada, he calls his buddies Alexander (one of Santa’s elves), Gunthar (a goblin) and Frank the Arctic fox to help him get ready. When they arrive in Canada, Brian is still nowhere to be seen. Can Blizz and his skunk ape and other sasquatch cousins find Brian, have the reunion and evade Vanquist? If anyone can, the Bigfeet clan can. Illustrator Sherry’s first volume in the Yeti Files is a fast and funny graphic-prose tale full of labeled pictures and comic-style panels. Those just starting chapter books may have some trouble with a few big words, but they’ll enjoy the big friendly monsters and immediately ask for the next tale—which looks to be about the Loch Ness monster.

Good-hearted fun—great for fans of Kit Feeny and Babymouse. (Graphic/fantasy hybrid. 7-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 30, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-545-55617-0

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 28, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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Readers will enjoy this sequel from a plot perspective and will learn how to play-act a trial, though they may not engage...

THE LEMONADE CRIME

From the Lemonade War series , Vol. 2

This sequel to The Lemonade War (2007), picking up just a few days later, focuses on how the fourth graders take justice into their own hands after learning that the main suspect in the case of the missing lemonade-stand money now owns the latest in game-box technology.

Siblings Evan and Jessie (who skipped third grade because of her precocity) are sure Scott Spencer stole the $208 from Evan’s shorts and want revenge, especially as Scott’s new toy makes him the most popular kid in class, despite his personal shortcomings. Jessie’s solution is to orchestrate a full-blown trial by jury after school, while Evan prefers to challenge Scott in basketball. Neither channel proves satisfactory for the two protagonists (whose rational and emotional reactions are followed throughout the third-person narrative), though, ultimately, the matter is resolved. Set during the week of Yom Kippur, the story raises beginning questions of fairness, integrity, sin and atonement. Like John Grisham's Theodore Boone, Kid Lawyer (2010), much of the book is taken up with introducing courtroom proceedings for a fourth-grade level of understanding. Chapter headings provide definitions  (“due diligence,” “circumstantial evidence,” etc.) and explanation cards/documents drawn by Jessie are interspersed.

Readers will enjoy this sequel from a plot perspective and will learn how to play-act a trial, though they may not engage with the characters enough to care about how the justice actually pans out. (Fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: May 2, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-547-27967-1

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2011

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