FIRE AND ICE

WARRIORS #2

Hunter ratchets up the tension in the return of the house pet turned feral warrior. Renamed Fireheart, the brave feline has little time to revel in his acceptance by Thunderclan before he and his best friend Graystripe must retrieve the refugee WindClan cats. But success leads to tragedy as Graystripe inadvertently kills a RiverClan warrior. Bad feelings are exacerbated by rumors of poaching in rival territories. Clan discord has private echoes as Graystripe falls for a RiverClan warrior, while Fireheart is torn between duty to his Clan and affection for his “kittypet” kin. Beneath this swirl of clashing loyalties runs the dark thread of Fireheart’s continuing suspicions of ThunderClan’s ambitious deputy leader. Hunter’s world keeps getting more finely drawn, and her characters more complex. While the focus is upon inner turmoil and inter-Clan intrigue, Fireheart still appreciates the pleasures of the hunt and the fury of battle, although readers may share his disappointment that combat fails to resolve his conflicting responsibilities. With enough backstory for newcomers to find their way, established fans will be on edge for the next title. (chart of allegiances) (Fantasy. 11+)

Pub Date: June 1, 2003

ISBN: 0-06-000003-1

Page Count: 336

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2003

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A sly, side-splitting hoot from start to finish.

THE MECHANICAL MIND OF JOHN COGGIN

The dreary prospect of spending a lifetime making caskets instead of wonderful inventions prompts a young orphan to snatch up his little sister and flee. Where? To the circus, of course.

Fortunately or otherwise, John and 6-year-old Page join up with Boz—sometime human cannonball for the seedy Wandering Wayfarers and a “vertically challenged” trickster with a fantastic gift for sowing chaos. Alas, the budding engineer barely has time to settle in to begin work on an experimental circus wagon powered by chicken poop and dubbed (with questionable forethought) the Autopsy. The hot pursuit of malign and indomitable Great-Aunt Beauregard, the Coggins’ only living relative, forces all three to leave the troupe for further flights and misadventures. Teele spins her adventure around a sturdy protagonist whose love for his little sister is matched only by his fierce desire for something better in life for them both and tucks in an outstanding supporting cast featuring several notably strong-minded, independent women (Page, whose glare “would kill spiders dead,” not least among them). Better yet, in Boz she has created a scene-stealing force of nature, a free spirit who’s never happier than when he’s stirring up mischief. A climactic clutch culminating in a magnificently destructive display of fireworks leaves the Coggin sibs well-positioned for bright futures. (Illustrations not seen.)

A sly, side-splitting hoot from start to finish. (Adventure. 11-13)

Pub Date: April 12, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-234510-3

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Walden Pond Press/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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RED-EYED TREE FROG

Bishop’s spectacular photographs of the tiny red-eyed tree frog defeat an incidental text from Cowley (Singing Down the Rain, 1997, etc.). The frog, only two inches long, is enormous in this title; it appears along with other nocturnal residents of the rain forests of Central America, including the iguana, ant, katydid, caterpillar, and moth. In a final section, Cowley explains how small the frog is and aspects of its life cycle. The main text, however, is an afterthought to dramatic events in the photos, e.g., “But the red-eyed tree frog has been asleep all day. It wakes up hungry. What will it eat? Here is an iguana. Frogs do not eat iguanas.” Accompanying an astonishing photograph of the tree frog leaping away from a boa snake are three lines (“The snake flicks its tongue. It tastes frog in the air. Look out, frog!”) that neither advance nor complement the action. The layout employs pale and deep green pages and typeface, and large jewel-like photographs in which green and red dominate. The combination of such visually sophisticated pages and simplistic captions make this a top-heavy, unsatisfying title. (Picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: March 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-590-87175-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1999

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