A simple lesson jazzed up by obstacles.


From the Jim Henson's Enchanted Sisters series , Vol. 2

The Seasonal Sparkles return in an adventure about friendship, fairness and jealousy.

Winter, the Sparkle responsible for causing winter in the human world, lives in her icy Sparkledom with her pet and best friend, Flurry the polar bear. While Winter and Flurry build a giant snow fort one day to impress her sisters, they discover a baby fox. Winter fawns over the cute fox, neglecting Flurry and sparking his jealousy. Hurt, he takes off—tunneling straight into the Barrens, the land inhabited by the villainous Bluster Tempest and his counterparts to the Sparkles, the Weeds boys. Accompanied by her sisters and the baby fox, Winter goes on a quest to get her best friend back. Along the way they face nasty surprises—booby traps left by the Weeds range from dangerous (giant mouse traps and Indiana Jones–style spikes triggered by sensors in the floor) to hilariously unpleasant (a smell so bad that Winter says “It’s like someone pooped in my nose!”). When they find Flurry, he’s less in need of rescue than they anticipated—the Weeds have adopted him and renamed him Butch. Worse, he might not even want to come home. Winter has to leave the decision up to him—the less-than-considerate nature of the Weeds along with Winter’s unconditional apology win the day.

A simple lesson jazzed up by obstacles. (Fantasy. 7-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 14, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-61963-297-4

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2014

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A fitting farewell, still funny, acute, and positive in its view of human nature even in its 37th episode.


From the Horrible Harry series , Vol. 37

A long-running series reaches its closing chapters.

Having, as Kline notes in her warm valedictory acknowledgements, taken 30 years to get through second and third grade, Harry Spooger is overdue to move on—but not just into fourth grade, it turns out, as his family is moving to another town as soon as the school year ends. The news leaves his best friend, narrator “Dougo,” devastated…particularly as Harry doesn’t seem all that fussed about it. With series fans in mind, the author takes Harry through a sort of last-day-of-school farewell tour. From his desk he pulls a burned hot dog and other items that featured in past episodes, says goodbye to Song Lee and other classmates, and even (for the first time ever) leads Doug and readers into his house and memento-strewn room for further reminiscing. Of course, Harry isn’t as blasé about the move as he pretends, and eyes aren’t exactly dry when he departs. But hardly is he out of sight before Doug is meeting Mohammad, a new neighbor from Syria who (along with further diversifying a cast that began as mostly white but has become increasingly multiethnic over the years) will also be starting fourth grade at summer’s end, and planning a written account of his “horrible” buddy’s exploits. Finished illustrations not seen.

A fitting farewell, still funny, acute, and positive in its view of human nature even in its 37th episode. (Fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: Nov. 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-451-47963-1

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Sept. 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2018

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


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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