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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With plenty left to be resolved, the next entry will be eagerly sought after.


From the Dragon Masters series , Vol. 1

Drake has been selected by the king to serve as a Dragon Master, quite a change for an 8-year-old farmer boy.

The dragons are a secret, and the reason King Roland has them is a mystery, but what is clear is that the Dragon Stone has identified Drake as one of the rare few children who have a special connection with dragons and the ability to serve as a trainer. Drake’s dragon is a long brown creature with, at first, no particular talents that Drake can identify. He calls the dragon Worm. It isn’t long before Drake begins to realize he has a very strong connection with Worm and can share what seem to be his dragon’s thoughts. After one of the other Dragon Masters decides to illicitly take the dragons outside, disaster strikes. The cave they are passing through collapses, blocking the passageway, and then Worm’s special talent becomes evident. The first of a new series of early chapter books, this entry is sure to attract fans. Brief chapters, large print, lots of action, attractive illustrations in every spread, including a maplike panorama, an enviable protagonist—who wouldn’t want to be a Dragon Master?—all combine to make an entertaining read.

With plenty left to be resolved, the next entry will be eagerly sought after. (Fantasy. 7-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 24, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-545-64624-6

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Branches/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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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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