The unusually weighty plot occasionally clashes with the familiar outrageous puns and potty humor, but series fans will be...

THE BOLDS IN TROUBLE

From the Bolds series , Vol. 4

The Bolds rescue an endangered victim of anti-fox bias; turns out, there’s a downside.

Someone’s stealing food from the anthropomorphic hyenas’ cheerfully chaotic household. Suspicion falls first on family, then their students learning to pass for human: Craig, the wild boar and aspiring (nonalcoholic) craft-brewery entrepreneur; Paulina, the otter with a religious vocation; and Snappy, the goose and likely future traffic cop. The scent of fox reveals the culprit. Human neighbors, also victims, call a meeting and, opposed only by the Bolds, vote to hire a catch-and-release service to remove the fox (extermination’s the true plan). Concern for their fellow wildlife leads the Bolds to concoct a daring rescue, but the human-hating fox thief, Mossy, (both his grannies were killed in fox hunts) rejects their help. Sylvie, Mossy’s meek vixen companion, can’t change his mind. The Bolds are “a disgrace to their own kind,” Mossy sneers. Then disaster strikes. Rescued but ungrateful, Mossy’s the houseguest from hell, ruthlessly bullying his kindly hosts. With Clary sounding heavy themes (bias, bullying, animals and humans behaving badly), Roberts’ unparalleled illustrations, crafting endearing eccentrics from a seamless blend of human and animal traits, add needed buoyancy. Devout Paulina, menacing Mossy, and indignant Snappy are standouts, like the hyenas, again collapsing in hysterics over Mr. Bold’s appalling jokes.

The unusually weighty plot occasionally clashes with the familiar outrageous puns and potty humor, but series fans will be more than satisfied. (Animal fantasy. 7-10)

Pub Date: May 7, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5415-0045-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Carolrhoda

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

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

A TRUE HOME

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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Good-hearted fun—great for fans of Kit Feeny and Babymouse.

MEET THE BIGFEET

From the Yeti Files series , Vol. 1

It’s a Bigfeet family reunion!

Everyone’s favorite frosty, furry cryptid, the yeti, actually has a name: Blizz Richards. From his supersecret HQ in Nepal he keeps in touch with his fellow cryptids, all of whom have sworn an oath to keep themselves hidden. That’s not always easy, especially when there are cryptozoologists, like the nasty (but bumbling) George Vanquist, who are always trying to expose the secretive creatures. Vanquist got a picture of Blizz’s cousin Brian near his home in British Columbia, causing the mortified Brian to disappear entirely. When Blizz receives an invitation to a Bigfeet family reunion in Canada, he calls his buddies Alexander (one of Santa’s elves), Gunthar (a goblin) and Frank the Arctic fox to help him get ready. When they arrive in Canada, Brian is still nowhere to be seen. Can Blizz and his skunk ape and other sasquatch cousins find Brian, have the reunion and evade Vanquist? If anyone can, the Bigfeet clan can. Illustrator Sherry’s first volume in the Yeti Files is a fast and funny graphic-prose tale full of labeled pictures and comic-style panels. Those just starting chapter books may have some trouble with a few big words, but they’ll enjoy the big friendly monsters and immediately ask for the next tale—which looks to be about the Loch Ness monster.

Good-hearted fun—great for fans of Kit Feeny and Babymouse. (Graphic/fantasy hybrid. 7-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 30, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-545-55617-0

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 28, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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