A DARING RESCUE

From the Dolphin Island series , Vol. 1

When Abby Feingold’s family starts a resort, she learns about the wildlife of their new island home.

When Abby’s father married her stepmother, Rachel, Rachel’s great-aunt gifted the couple a private island in the Florida Keys. Naturally, the couple promptly quit their jobs to run a small resort. Abby quickly befriends one of the first guests, Bella Garcia, but soon Bella starts to withdraw, hurting Abby’s feelings. When Abby follows Bella, she learns Bella’s secret—a colorful bird has led Bella to a cove where a pod of dolphins lives. Bella swears Abby to secrecy about the cove, and the girls name the dolphins. Although the text gives lip service to the fact that dolphins are wild animals, that doesn’t stop the girls for long from swimming with them. When Abby overhears her parents’ concerns that their resort may not attract enough guests to stay viable, she blurts out the dolphin secret—at the cost of her friendship with Bella. The realistic characters will make it easy for readers to vicariously experience this semiwild private tropical paradise—the setting is the book’s biggest treasure. Abby and her father present as white; Rachel (with whom Abby has a delightfully close relationship) is black, with Jamaican heritage; Bella is Latina. The resort’s cook, Sofia, is Cuban, and Sofia’s nephew becomes a recurring character, as does Bella; Volume 2, Lost in the Storm, publishes simultaneously.

A good summer read. (Fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-338-29018-9

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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Dizzyingly silly.

CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS AND THE TYRANNICAL RETALIATION OF THE TURBO TOILET 2000

From the Captain Underpants series , Vol. 11

The famous superhero returns to fight another villain with all the trademark wit and humor the series is known for.

Despite the title, Captain Underpants is bizarrely absent from most of this adventure. His school-age companions, George and Harold, maintain most of the spotlight. The creative chums fool around with time travel and several wacky inventions before coming upon the evil Turbo Toilet 2000, making its return for vengeance after sitting out a few of the previous books. When the good Captain shows up to save the day, he brings with him dynamic action and wordplay that meet the series’ standards. The Captain Underpants saga maintains its charm even into this, the 11th volume. The epic is filled to the brim with sight gags, toilet humor, flip-o-ramas and anarchic glee. Holding all this nonsense together is the author’s good-natured sense of harmless fun. The humor is never gross or over-the-top, just loud and innocuous. Adults may roll their eyes here and there, but youngsters will eat this up just as quickly as they devoured every other Underpants episode.

Dizzyingly silly. (Humor. 8-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 26, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-545-50490-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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A plucky mouse finds her true home in this warm, winning tale.

A TRUE HOME

From the Heartwood Hotel series , Vol. 1

An orphan mouse unexpectedly arrives at Heartwood Hotel, which she hopes will become the home she’s seeking.

Mona’s never had a home for long. After a storm forces her to flee her latest forest shelter, she discovers an enormous tree with a heart carved into its trunk. When Mona presses the heart, a door opens, and she enters the lobby of Heartwood Hotel, where small forest critters hibernate, eat, and celebrate in safety. The kindhearted badger proprietor, Mr. Heartwood, takes pity on homeless Mona, allowing her to stay for the fall to assist the maid, Tilly, a red squirrel. Grateful to be at Heartwood, Mona strives to prove herself despite Tilly’s unfriendly attitude. Mona’s clever approaches with a wounded songbird, an anxious skunk, and a wayward bear win Mr. Heartwood’s approval. But when Mona accidentally breaks a rule, Tilly convinces her she will be fired. As Mona secretly leaves Heartwood, she discovers marauding wolves planning to crash Heartwood’s Snow Festival and devises a daring plan to save the place she regards as home. Charming anthropomorphic characters, humorous mishaps, and outside threats add to the drama. Delicate pencil illustrations reinforce Heartwood’s cozy home theme. A sequel, The Greatest Gift, publishes simultaneously.

A plucky mouse finds her true home in this warm, winning tale. (Animal fantasy. 7-10)

Pub Date: July 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4847-3161-1

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: April 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2017

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