It’s a dog’s life and Fletcher, the detective-sniffing Bassett hound, has a better one than most. Third in the Fletcher Mystery series, this easy-to-read chapter book has humorous plays on words, silly situations, and an understandable mystery for its young readers to solve along with the dogs and their owners. Fletcher’s energetic, quick-talking flea friend Jasper delivers the laughs with the timing of a stand-up comedian, and Fletcher, in search of the perfect meat with a nap chaser, uses his sharp nose to help the humans solve the mystery. A new park is about to be dedicated and the kids come up with the idea of a masked ball—for the dogs. Sensing positive publicity, the park ranger and supporters embrace the idea, call the local press, and pull together the necessary ingredients for mask-making, dog style. But, from the very start, there is trouble and Gwen senses a conspiracy. Who destroyed the noses on the dogs’ masks? How about the frayed power lines that threatened to burn down a house? Why did the power switch get pulled right as the television crew started broadcasting? Not to fear, Fletcher and friends solve the mystery, celebrate the opening of the park, and meet some new friends along the way. Fletcher even meets a saucy little dachshund called Felicity. The masks might have gotten mixed up in the dark, but young readers will not be mixed up at all. The first-canine perspective, complete with rear-end sniffing, will have everyone howling. (Fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2003

ISBN: 0-689-84628-2

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Aladdin

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2003

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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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Friends of these pollinators will be best served elsewhere.

1001 BEES

This book is buzzing with trivia.

Follow a swarm of bees as they leave a beekeeper’s apiary in search of a new home. As the scout bees traverse the fields, readers are provided with a potpourri of facts and statements about bees. The information is scattered—much like the scout bees—and as a result, both the nominal plot and informational content are tissue-thin. There are some interesting facts throughout the book, but many pieces of trivia are too, well trivial, to prove useful. For example, as the bees travel, readers learn that “onion flowers are round and fluffy” and “fennel is a plant that is used in cooking.” Other facts are oversimplified and as a result are not accurate. For example, monofloral honey is defined as “made by bees who visit just one kind of flower” with no acknowledgment of the fact that bees may range widely, and swarm activity is described as a springtime event, when it can also occur in summer and early fall. The information in the book, such as species identification and measurement units, is directed toward British readers. The flat, thin-lined artwork does little to enhance the story, but an “I spy” game challenging readers to find a specific bee throughout is amusing.

Friends of these pollinators will be best served elsewhere. (Informational picture book. 8-10)

Pub Date: May 18, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-500-65265-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2021

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