Clover’s sweet story is a good next step for lovers of the Magic Tree House.

CLOVER'S LUCK

From the Magical Animal Adoption Agency series , Vol. 1

Clover might have a lucky name, but she is sure that she's the unluckiest girl ever.

Clover believes in luck, and she's tried everything to improve hers. She painted her room green (the color of clovers), she hung a horseshoe above her bed, and she carries a wishbone everywhere. Nothing works. Now her best friend, Emma, has gotten the last space at Pony Camp, and Clover will be alone all summer. When her pet canary escapes through a hole in her window, Clover chases the bird into the dark and forbidding Woods that surround the town. She doesn't catch the bird, but she sees an ad for volunteers at an animal adoption agency posted on a tree. When she finds the cottage on Dragon Tail Lane, she learns that Mr. Jams fosters magical animals. He accepts her as a volunteer but must leave on a special rescue mission almost immediately. He places Clover in charge. Can she do the job without her bad luck tripping her up—especially with a wicked witch about? George kicks off her Magical Animal Adoption Agency series with the tale of how Clover discovers her luck isn’t what she thought it was. All works out appropriately conveniently for the audience, and the solidly written, gentle tale of magic and self-reliance will entertain confident new independent readers.

Clover’s sweet story is a good next step for lovers of the Magic Tree House. (Fantasy. 6-10)

Pub Date: Feb. 3, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4231-8382-2

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

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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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With plenty left to be resolved, the next entry will be eagerly sought after.

RISE OF THE EARTH DRAGON

From the Dragon Masters series , Vol. 1

Drake has been selected by the king to serve as a Dragon Master, quite a change for an 8-year-old farmer boy.

The dragons are a secret, and the reason King Roland has them is a mystery, but what is clear is that the Dragon Stone has identified Drake as one of the rare few children who have a special connection with dragons and the ability to serve as a trainer. Drake’s dragon is a long brown creature with, at first, no particular talents that Drake can identify. He calls the dragon Worm. It isn’t long before Drake begins to realize he has a very strong connection with Worm and can share what seem to be his dragon’s thoughts. After one of the other Dragon Masters decides to illicitly take the dragons outside, disaster strikes. The cave they are passing through collapses, blocking the passageway, and then Worm’s special talent becomes evident. The first of a new series of early chapter books, this entry is sure to attract fans. Brief chapters, large print, lots of action, attractive illustrations in every spread, including a maplike panorama, an enviable protagonist—who wouldn’t want to be a Dragon Master?—all combine to make an entertaining read.

With plenty left to be resolved, the next entry will be eagerly sought after. (Fantasy. 7-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 24, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-545-64624-6

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Branches/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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