A delightful, entertaining romp with lots of surprises.

DAKOTA CRUMB

TINY TREASURE HUNTER

Meet Dakota Crumb, treasure hunter extraordinaire.

Never mind that she is a mouse; her small size is no hindrance to her bravery. Dakota lives deep under a great city’s art museum. At night she scurries about the museum with a mouse-sized sack, searching for treasures that she can carry away. She is quick witted and keen eyed and able to escape by a whisker from any danger. Though she snags a painting and a statue that are small enough to toss into her sack, her goal this evening is to find the Purple Jewel of Egypt with the help of a treasure map. Of course she finds that treasure, and it tastes good too. The clock keeps ticking toward morning as the tale’s pace slows and quickens with Dakota’s need to creep past dangers, swoop a treasure into her sack, pause to read her map, or even freeze in fear. Readers will need sharp eyes to identify the actual treasures, but the effort is rewarded by admission through a tiny door under the big museum to the Mousehole Museum—curated by the amazing, clever Miss Crumb. Murphy’s gray- and purple-hued nighttime cartoons perfectly track the action from Dakota’s close-to-the-ground perspective, depicting her as an intelligent, confident, and independent female. A closing activity invites readers to embark on their own treasure hunts to find other items to be seen in the museum on a second read.

A delightful, entertaining romp with lots of surprises. (Picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: July 6, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0394-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2021

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A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends

WAITING IS NOT EASY!

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Gerald the elephant learns a truth familiar to every preschooler—heck, every human: “Waiting is not easy!”

When Piggie cartwheels up to Gerald announcing that she has a surprise for him, Gerald is less than pleased to learn that the “surprise is a surprise.” Gerald pumps Piggie for information (it’s big, it’s pretty, and they can share it), but Piggie holds fast on this basic principle: Gerald will have to wait. Gerald lets out an almighty “GROAN!” Variations on this basic exchange occur throughout the day; Gerald pleads, Piggie insists they must wait; Gerald groans. As the day turns to twilight (signaled by the backgrounds that darken from mauve to gray to charcoal), Gerald gets grumpy. “WE HAVE WASTED THE WHOLE DAY!…And for WHAT!?” Piggie then gestures up to the Milky Way, which an awed Gerald acknowledges “was worth the wait.” Willems relies even more than usual on the slightest of changes in posture, layout and typography, as two waiting figures can’t help but be pretty static. At one point, Piggie assumes the lotus position, infuriating Gerald. Most amusingly, Gerald’s elephantine groans assume weighty physicality in spread-filling speech bubbles that knock Piggie to the ground. And the spectacular, photo-collaged images of the Milky Way that dwarf the two friends makes it clear that it was indeed worth the wait.

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends . (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9957-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

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A hilarious but enlightening guide to the online world—the good, the bad, and the ugly.

BAD KITTY GETS A PHONE (GRAPHIC NOVEL)

A craving for the latest tech leads to cat-astrophe in this new addition to the Bad Kitty series.

With her heart set on owning a cellphone, anthropomorphic house cat Kitty plows through three solid months of chores without complaining before her owners reluctantly grant her fervent wish. Then things go rapidly downhill. She becomes obsessed with violent mobile games, gets catfished (no pun intended), divulges too much personal information online, becomes consumed with rage at cyberbullies, and grows listless from excessive screen time. Only after the intervention of a Sphynx cat named Strange Kitty and a monthlong technology fast enforced by her owners does Kitty come to understand that while smartphones are fun, they can also be a serious distraction from real life and true friends. Using a digestible graphic-novel format, the book tackles internet safety and digital media literacy with purr-fect aplomb. The “Uncle Murray’s Fun Facts” section serves as a deep dive into the differences between facts and opinions, and many of Kitty’s quirky feline behaviors ring true. It’s unfortunate that the word lame—a disability-related term with negative connotations—is used by the internet trolls who deride the video Kitty makes and posts on “ViewTube.” Occasional misstep aside, Kitty’s tribulations provide ample fodder for this instructive and amusing tale.

A hilarious but enlightening guide to the online world—the good, the bad, and the ugly. (Graphic novel. 6-9)

Pub Date: Dec. 28, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-74996-3

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: Nov. 16, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2021

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