ASTRONUTS MISSION THREE

THE PERFECT PLANET

From the AstroNuts series

On their third mission, the AstroNuts visit the Perfect Planet—Earth!

Following their failed missions to the Plant Planet and the Water Planet, the lovably goofy band of AstroNuts is sent back in time to prehistoric Earth in hopes of stopping humankind from discovering fire and thus preventing climate change. Zooming off from their top-secret AstroNut headquarters on Mount Rushmore, the animal foursome rocket into a wormhole in their Abe Lincoln Beard Vehicle. When they arrive, the AstroNuts befriend the purple-skinned, fur-clad Sapiens family: Grunk, Lucy, and Baby Urp, who live in a cold, dark home, literally between a rock and a hard place. They soon discover that humans are not the dominant species: Wolves are! A Survival of the Fittest Olympics pits the nefariously cunning wolves against the Sapiens family. Can the AstroNuts help the humans beat the wolves without introducing them to fire? Scieszka’s third installment doesn’t miss a beat, with its consistent blend of interesting science facts, enthralling collage art, and, of course, a good poop joke or two. Weinberg’s illustrations are dazzling, juxtaposing classic works of art with bold color splashes and zany, brightly colored characters. This series has been dependably edifying and entertaining, and this latest volume works fine as a stand-alone, although the recap should entice new readers to visit previous installments.

Perfectly fun. (Graphic science fiction hybrid. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 21, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4521-7121-0

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: July 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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With Ivan’s movie out this year from Disney, expect great interest—it will be richly rewarded.

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THE ONE AND ONLY BOB

Tiny, sassy Bob the dog, friend of The One and Only Ivan (2012), returns to tell his tale.

Wisecracking Bob, who is a little bit Chihuahua among other things, now lives with his girl, Julia, and her parents. Happily, her father works at Wildworld Zoological Park and Sanctuary, the zoo where Bob’s two best friends, Ivan the gorilla and Ruby the elephant, live, so Bob gets to visit and catch up with them regularly. Due to an early betrayal, Bob doesn’t trust humans (most humans are good only for their thumbs); he fears he’s going soft living with Julia, and he’s certain he is a Bad Dog—as in “not a good representative of my species.” On a visit to the zoo with a storm threatening, Bob accidentally falls into the gorilla enclosure just as a tornado strikes. So that’s what it’s like to fly. In the storm’s aftermath, Bob proves to everyone (and finally himself) that there is a big heart in that tiny chest…and a brave one too. With this companion, Applegate picks up where her Newbery Medal winner left off, and fans will be overjoyed to ride along in the head of lovable, self-deprecating Bob on his storm-tossed adventure. His wry doggy observations and attitude are pitch perfect (augmented by the canine glossary and Castelao’s picture dictionary of dog postures found in the frontmatter). Gorilla Ivan described Julia as having straight, black hair in the previous title, and Castelao's illustrations in that volume showed her as pale-skinned. (Finished art not available for review.)

With Ivan’s movie out this year from Disney, expect great interest—it will be richly rewarded. (afterword) (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-299131-7

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: March 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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The three way chats, in which they are joined by other animals, about web spinning, themselves, other humans—are as often...

CHARLOTTE'S WEB

A successful juvenile by the beloved New Yorker writer portrays a farm episode with an imaginative twist that makes a poignant, humorous story of a pig, a spider and a little girl.

Young Fern Arable pleads for the life of runt piglet Wilbur and gets her father to sell him to a neighbor, Mr. Zuckerman. Daily, Fern visits the Zuckermans to sit and muse with Wilbur and with the clever pen spider Charlotte, who befriends him when he is lonely and downcast. At the news of Wilbur's forthcoming slaughter, campaigning Charlotte, to the astonishment of people for miles around, spins words in her web. "Some Pig" comes first. Then "Terrific"—then "Radiant". The last word, when Wilbur is about to win a show prize and Charlotte is about to die from building her egg sac, is "Humble". And as the wonderful Charlotte does die, the sadness is tempered by the promise of more spiders next spring.

The three way chats, in which they are joined by other animals, about web spinning, themselves, other humans—are as often informative as amusing, and the whole tenor of appealing wit and pathos will make fine entertainment for reading aloud, too.

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 1952

ISBN: 978-0-06-026385-0

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1952

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