RISE OF ZOMBERT

From the ZomBert Chronicles series , Vol. 1

There’s something strange about Mellie’s foundling cat…is Bert a zombie?!

Nine-year-old Mellie has no interest in being a part of her parents’ food-and-family blog. Her mother and father (a former freelance writer and former chef, respectively) are so busy with the blog and her twin younger brothers that she’s pretty free-range. She spends a lot of her time helping her best friend, Danny, make horror movies. When the two of them discover a disheveled cat in a dumpster, Mellie feels drawn to the sickly feline; she sneaks him home, names him Bert, and doesn’t tell her parents. Meanwhile the Big Boss of a local lab is not pleased that two of his workers have allowed test subject Y-91 to escape, and he orders them to find it. Bert isn’t interested in cat food or even salmon, but he brings Mellie headless animal corpses…could he be a zombie eating only the animals’ brains?! When Bert’s accused of hurting the school bully’s pet rats (and thus brought to the attention of Mellie’s parents), she may not be able to keep him. This slim series opener feels like the start of a novel more than a whole book, as so much is left unresolved at the close. The parallel stories of Mellie’s discovery of Bert, the search for Y-91, and Bert, as he pursues a mission of his own, will keep young fans of the slightly spooky turning pages…and eager for the next installment. In Andrews’ illustrations, Mellie and her mom have dark skin while her dad and the twins have light skin.

Enjoyably mysterious. (Science fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: July 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0106-2

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2020

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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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A dramatic, educational, authentic whale of a tale.

A WHALE OF THE WILD

After a tsunami devastates their habitat in the Salish Sea, a young orca and her brother embark on a remarkable adventure.

Vega’s matriarchal family expects her to become a hunter and wayfinder, with her younger brother, Deneb, protecting and supporting her. Invited to guide her family to their Gathering Place to hunt salmon, Vega’s underwater miscalculations endanger them all, and an embarrassed Vega questions whether she should be a wayfinder. When the baby sister she hoped would become her life companion is stillborn, a distraught Vega carries the baby away to a special resting place, shocking her grieving family. Dispatched to find his missing sister, Deneb locates Vega in the midst of a terrible tsunami. To escape the waters polluted by shattered boats, Vega leads Deneb into unfamiliar open sea. Alone and hungry, the young siblings encounter a spectacular giant whale and travel briefly with shark-hunting orcas. Trusting her instincts and gaining emotional strength from contemplating the vastness of the sky, Vega knows she must lead her brother home and help save her surviving family. In alternating first-person voices, Vega and Deneb tell their harrowing story, engaging young readers while educating them about the marine ecosystem. Realistic black-and-white illustrations enhance the maritime setting.

A dramatic, educational, authentic whale of a tale. (maps, wildlife facts, tribes of the Salish Sea watershed, environmental and geographical information, how to help orcas, author’s note, artist’s note, resources) (Animal fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-299592-6

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: July 1, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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