IF YOU EVER GET LOST

THE ADVENTURES OF JULIA AND EVAN

From the hilarious to the hair-raising, this beginning chapter book chronicles the capers of two curious siblings. Evan and Julia, greet each adventure—or calamity, depending upon your perspective—with enthusiasm. Their stories encompass the quirky, everyday events that inevitably occur with children, as well as a few extraordinary ones. Whatever the situation, this unflappable duo can handle it: from the myriad of ingenious uses the two think up for their new umbrellas in “Cloudy with a Chance of Rain” to identifying robbery suspects in “Pet Store Holdup.” The pragmatic tone of the narrative is in direct contrast to the outlandish events, greatly contributing to the overall humor; when Evan is hurtling towards a pond on his sister’s bike, “ ‘Stop, bicycle!’ he tells it in that second before its wheel hits the rim. But the bicycle doesn’t. As far as those watching can tell, it doesn’t even slow down. Up and over the rim it goes, with Evan still on it.” Carpenter’s (A Picnic in October, 1999, etc.) simple black-and-white sketches are sprinkled throughout the text, offering engaging vignettes for readers’ perusal. The nine brief chapters function independently of each other, easily lending themselves to individual read-aloud sessions for less experienced readers. With a keen understanding of children permeating the pages and an abundance of humor and adventure, young audiences will find this one irresistible. (Fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: May 31, 2000

ISBN: 0-688-16947-3

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2000

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THE LEMONADE WAR

From the Lemonade War series , Vol. 1

Told from the point of view of two warring siblings, this could have been an engaging first chapter book. Unfortunately, the length makes it less likely to appeal to the intended audience. Jessie and Evan are usually good friends as well as sister and brother. But the news that bright Jessie will be skipping a grade to join Evan’s fourth-grade class creates tension. Evan believes himself to be less than clever; Jessie’s emotional maturity doesn’t quite measure up to her intelligence. Rivalry and misunderstandings grow as the two compete to earn the most money in the waning days of summer. The plot rolls along smoothly and readers will be able to both follow the action and feel superior to both main characters as their motivations and misconceptions are clearly displayed. Indeed, a bit more subtlety in characterization might have strengthened the book’s appeal. The final resolution is not entirely believable, but the emphasis on cooperation and understanding is clear. Earnest and potentially successful, but just misses the mark. (Fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: April 23, 2007

ISBN: 0-618-75043-6

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2007

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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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