Ending with a school concert, a wedding and a sense of accomplishment for Daisy, all equally lovely, it will leave readers...

WITCH BABY AND ME ON STAGE

From the Witch Baby series , Vol. 3

Lily knows her little sister Daisy is a witch.

No one else does, except for Lily’s best friend Vivaldi, and, of course, the Sisters of Hiss (Chin, Nose and Toad), who made Daisy a witch in her cradle. Daisy is currently fighting the idea of toilet training (“ ‘Not dunna poo,’ Daisy lies”) and given to wandering off at night to wreak little witchy havoc. The Sisters of Hiss contemplate finally taking Daisy back, in hilarious alternating chapters, but they want her toilet-trained first. Lily and Daisy’s school is preparing for the musical pageant, in which Lily will play her grandpa’s bagpipes and Daisy will be a monkey. The 400-plus-year-old Hisses face various challenges, most notably when a little girl named Yoshito decides Chin is a fairy godmother and her father is quite smitten. Gliori’s humor, as always in this series, is much concerned with the kind of adorable grossness common to small children, but she also uses typeface changes and completely wacky footnotes to great effect. The pictures are dazzling in their elegant daffiness, like the disembodied hands Daisy thinks will come out of the toilet if she sits on it. Visual and verbal nods to Sendak, Tolkien and others of the canon will delight. It reads aloud gloriously, but it will also be easily digested by daring chapter-book readers with its small page size and clear layout.

Ending with a school concert, a wedding and a sense of accomplishment for Daisy, all equally lovely, it will leave readers wondering how much trouble Daisy can make in the next installment. (Humorous fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-552-55679-8

Page Count: 330

Publisher: Corgi Children’s Books/Trafalgar

Review Posted Online: June 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2011

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If not as effervescent as Roz’s first outing, it is still a provocatively contemplative one.

THE WILD ROBOT ESCAPES

Roz, a robot who learned to adapt to life among wild creatures in her first outing, seeks to return to the island she calls home.

Brown’s sequel to The Wild Robot (2016) continues an intriguing premise: What would happen to a robot after challenges in an unexpected environment cause it to evolve in unusual ways? As this book opens, Roz is delivered to a farm where she helps a widower with two young children run a dairy operation that has been in his family for generations. Roz reveals her backstory to the cows, who are supportive of the robot’s determination to return to the island and to her adopted son, the goose Brightbill. The cows, the children, and finally Brightbill himself come to Roz’s aid. The focus on Roz’s escape from human control results in a somewhat solemn and episodic narrative, with an extended journey and chase after Roz leaves the farm. Dr. Molovo, a literal deus ex machina, appears near the end of the story to provide a means of rescue. She is Roz’s designer/creator, and, intrigued by the robot’s adaptation and evolution but cognizant of the threat that those achievements might represent to humans, she assists Roz and Brightbill in their quest. The satisfactory (if inevitable-feeling) conclusion may prompt discussion about individual agency and determination, whether for robots or people.

If not as effervescent as Roz’s first outing, it is still a provocatively contemplative one. (Fiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: March 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-316-38204-5

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

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A worthy combination of athletic action, the virtues of inner strength, and the importance of friendship.

LEGACY AND THE DOUBLE

From the Legacy series , Vol. 2

A young tennis champion becomes the target of revenge.

In this sequel to Legacy and the Queen (2019), Legacy Petrin and her friends Javi and Pippa have returned to Legacy’s home province and the orphanage run by her father. With her friends’ help, she is in training to defend her championship when they discover that another player, operating under the protection of High Consul Silla, is presenting herself as Legacy. She is so convincing that the real Legacy is accused of being an imitation. False Legacy has become a hero to the masses, further strengthening Silla’s hold, and it becomes imperative to uncover and defeat her. If Legacy is to win again, she must play her imposter while disguised as someone else. Winning at tennis is not just about money and fame, but resisting Silla’s plans to send more young people into brutal mines with little hope of better lives. Legacy will have to overcome her fears and find the magic that allowed her to claim victory in the past. This story, with its elements of sports, fantasy, and social consciousness that highlight tensions between the powerful and those they prey upon, successfully continues the series conceived by late basketball superstar Bryant. As before, the tennis matches are depicted with pace and spirit. Legacy and Javi have brown skin; most other characters default to White.

A worthy combination of athletic action, the virtues of inner strength, and the importance of friendship. (Fantasy. 9-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 24, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-949520-19-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Granity Studios

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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