Gizmo is more droll than likable, but Wedgie is attractively steadfast and amiable, in the end rescuing both Gizmo and the...

WEDGIE & GIZMO

From the Wedgie & Gizmo series , Vol. 1

When families get blended, so do their animals. Gizmo, a genius guinea pig who can read and wears eyeglasses, and Wedgie, a much less intelligent corgi who wears a superhero cape, each alternately relate their interwoven stories in distinct first-pet voices.

Unfortunately for the guinea pig, his owner, Elliot, is forced to let his new, annoying little sister, Jasmine, help take care of Gizmo. Jasmine enjoys dressing him up in tutus and housing him in Barbie’s lavish (pink) former abode. But Gizmo is an intrepid sort of critter with evil plans to rule the world, and he does find Barbie’s rucksack useful for carrying gear as he engages in some nighttime adventures, not all of them successful. Through comments Elliot makes, readers learn of his unhappiness with his new family situation, although this second storyline takes a back seat to Gizmo’s scheming. Acting as his and Elliot’s foil, Wedgie, who calls Gizmo “the Furry Potato,” is convincingly doglike in his eager embrace of just about everything. Fisinger’s numerous illustrations are action-packed and appropriately humorous, especially in their depiction of Wedgie’s never-ending enthusiasm. An opening gallery introduces Jasmine’s family as Latino and Elliot and his father as black. While the tale is never laugh-out-loud funny, it’s amusing and imaginative enough to sustain interest for readers new to chapter books.

Gizmo is more droll than likable, but Wedgie is attractively steadfast and amiable, in the end rescuing both Gizmo and the story. (Fantasy. 7-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-244763-0

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2017

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MR. POPPER'S PENGUINS

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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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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