This early chapter book with plenty of heart and a bit of suspense will appeal to young pet lovers.

MISSING!

A CAT CALLED BUSTER

From the Rainbow Street Shelter series , Vol. 2

After his elderly owner is injured in an accident, Buster the cat gets lost, and a young neighbor sets out to find him.

Buster spent his early months at the Rainbow Street Shelter, also the name of this pet-focused series for readers who have recently made the transition to chapter books. Finally adopted by Mr. Larsen, he loves their life together. Josh, a grade-schooler, is trying to deal with his grief over the death of his pet rabbit when Buster goes missing. Aided by his parents, Josh begins a determined search for the missing pet. Just as in the first work in the series (Lost! A Dog Called Bear, 2011), this effort sympathetically, if briefly, deals with some complex issues, including the responsibilities of pet ownership, death and aging, but always within the framework of an optimistic, childlike perspective appropriate for the target audience. Readers will fully understand that although Josh's focus on finding Buster is at first driven by his own loss, later he genuinely falls in love with the wily cat. Several characters that appeared in the first work in this series make cameo appearances, providing continuity. Attractive black-and-white full- and half-page sketches, one or two per chapter, offer some visual interest as well.

This early chapter book with plenty of heart and a bit of suspense will appeal to young pet lovers. (Fiction. 6-9)

Pub Date: Nov. 8, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-8050-8932-5

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Sept. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2011

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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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Readers who (inexplicably) find David Lawrence’s Pickle and Penguin (2004) just too weird may settle in more comfortably...

LOST AND FOUND

A lad finds a penguin on his doorstep and resolutely sets out to return it in this briefly told import. 

Eventually, he ends up rowing it all the way back to Antarctica, braving waves and storms, filling in the time by telling it stories. But then, feeling lonely after he drops his silent charge off, he belatedly realizes that it was probably lonely too, and turns back to find it. Seeing Jeffers’s small, distant figures in wide, simply brushed land- and sea-scapes, young viewers will probably cotton to the penguin’s feelings before the boy himself does—but all’s well that ends well, and the reunited companions are last seen adrift together in the wide blue sea. 

Readers who (inexplicably) find David Lawrence’s Pickle and Penguin (2004) just too weird may settle in more comfortably with this—slightly—less offbeat friendship tale. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-399-24503-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2005

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