A determined gal with a whole lot of heart, Louise will have fans hoping for a fourth outing.

LOUISE TRAPEZE CAN SO SAVE THE DAY

From the Louise Trapeze series , Vol. 3

The Sweet Potato Circus may be in trouble, and Louise must pull out all the stops in order to save it.

First, Ringmaster Riley gets angry over a malfunctioning cotton-candy machine that is puffing sugary sweetness out of control. Then Louise overhears two circus performers having a whispery conversation about “audience” and “sales down,” and “save it for this…performance.” None of that can be any good! Her mom tries to reassure her, but Louise knows a very important fact: “Sometimes grown-ups do not want kids to know their worry-ish thoughts. They like to pretend everything is fine-fine-fine.” Times are so desperate that Louise gets help from not only her best friend, Stella, but also their sworn enemy, “ferret-breath” Fernando. The three youngsters must come up with a “eureka!-amazing” new act to attract more audience members and save the show. As in previous Louise Trapeze outings, Louise’s overzealous attitude is infectious, but it gets her in a spot of trouble. Lessons on misinterpretation, eavesdropping, and not jumping to conclusions are all learned. Blue tones accent Barrager’s sketch illustrations this time; though there’s no indication about racial diversity in the book’s interior, the cover reveals Stella to be brown-skinned and Louise to be white.

A determined gal with a whole lot of heart, Louise will have fans hoping for a fourth outing. (Fiction. 6-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-0553-49747-2

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Make space for this clever blend of science and self-realization.

A PLACE FOR PLUTO

If Pluto can’t be a planet—then what is he?

Having been a regular planet for “the better part of forever,” Pluto is understandably knocked out of orbit by his sudden exclusion. With Charon and his four other moons in tow he sets off in search of a new identity. Unfortunately, that only spins him into further gloom, as he doesn’t have a tail like his friend Halley’s comet, is too big to join Ida and the other asteroids, and feels disinclined to try to crash into Earth like meteoroids Gem and Persi. Then, just as he’s about to plunge into a black hole of despair, an encounter with a whole quartet of kindred spheroids led by Eris rocks his world…and a follow-up surprise party thrown by an apologetic Saturn (“Dwarf planet has a nice RING to it”) and the other seven former colleagues literally puts him “over the moon.” Demmer gives all the heavenly bodies big eyes (some, including the feminine Saturn, with long lashes) and, on occasion, short arms along with distinctive identifying colors or markings. Dressing the troublemaking meteoroids in do-rags and sunglasses sounds an off note. Without mentioning that the reclassification is still controversial, Wade closes with a (somewhat) straighter account of Pluto’s current official status and the reasons for it.

Make space for this clever blend of science and self-realization. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-68446-004-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Capstone Young Readers

Review Posted Online: April 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Young readers with a fondness for amphibians will jump all over this one. (Fiction. 6-8)

STINK AND THE FREAKY FROG FREAKOUT

From the Stink series , Vol. 8

Stink Moody, younger brother of Judy, hops into the spotlight with a common problem—and  one that’s a bit more unusual.

Stink would like to advance in his swimming lessons, but he’s afraid to put his face underwater and seems doomed to remain a Polliwog forever. Fortunately, he’s distracted from that issue by the sudden appearance around town—in some surprising places—of a whole lot of real frogs, a few of which are deformed. These frogs give McDonald the opportunity to offer a little information, through the voice of a nature-center guide, on how adverse environmental conditions can influence frog development. Stink memorizes a variety of frog sounds, enabling him to participate in a frog count at a local pond. Somehow, he becomes convinced that he’s turning into a frog himself, but that might just make it possible for him to swim underwater. Brief, cheery, oversized text and lot of cartoonish black-and-white illustrations (only some of which were available for review) make this a good choice for newly independent readers. A minor issue is that the text informs readers that it is early spring; even in Virginia, that’s a little early for Stink to be taking swimming lessons in an outdoor pool, as indicated in the illustrations.

Young readers with a fondness for amphibians will jump all over this one. (Fiction. 6-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 12, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6140-3

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Dec. 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2013

Did you like this book?

more