A fun choice for chapter-book readers who like legendary creatures.


From the Ms. Frogbottom's Field Trips series , Vol. 3

The students of Class 4A end up in a vampire’s castle during a magical field trip.

Class 4A is no ordinary classroom. With Ms. Frogbottom and her magic map, there is never a dull moment. As this adventure opens, the kids are enjoying a night at science camp when a bat flies overhead. As the conversation inevitably turns to vampire bats and vampires, Ms. Frogbottom takes out her magic map to whisk them away on a memorable field trip. In a blink of an eye, the students find themselves in Transylvania. While at a cafe, they meet the groundskeeper of Bran Castle, the inspiration for the castle in Dracula. He offers them a special tour of the castle, which Ms. Frogbottom gladly accepts. Soon the kids meet Mr. Liliac, master of the castle, and that’s when things get really weird. Emma swears Mr. Liliac is a vampire because he had no reflection in the mirror—and then Ms. Frogbottom disappears….Narrated by fact-loving student Sofia, this third series installment reads like a chapter-book version of the Magic School Bus, introducing geography via local legends. More silly than scary, the story is a mixture of history, magic, and adventure. Laced throughout the text are both boxes with fast facts and black-and-white images. The students appear to be of different races, and Ms. Frogbottom is a woman of color.

A fun choice for chapter-book readers who like legendary creatures. (glossary) (Fantasy. 6-9)

Pub Date: July 20, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5344-5403-3

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Aladdin

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A close encounter of the best kind.


Left behind when the space bus departs, a child discovers that the moon isn’t as lifeless as it looks.

While the rest of the space-suited class follows the teacher like ducklings, one laggard carrying crayons and a sketchbook sits down to draw our home planet floating overhead, falls asleep, and wakes to see the bus zooming off. The bright yellow bus, the gaggle of playful field-trippers, and even the dull gray boulders strewn over the equally dull gray lunar surface have a rounded solidity suggestive of Plasticine models in Hare’s wordless but cinematic scenes…as do the rubbery, one-eyed, dull gray creatures (think: those stress-busting dolls with ears that pop out when squeezed) that emerge from the regolith. The mutual shock lasts but a moment before the lunarians eagerly grab the proffered crayons to brighten the bland gray setting with silly designs. The creatures dive into the dust when the bus swoops back down but pop up to exchange goodbye waves with the errant child, who turns out to be an olive-skinned kid with a mop of brown hair last seen drawing one of their new friends with the one crayon—gray, of course—left in the box. Body language is expressive enough in this debut outing to make a verbal narrative superfluous.

A close encounter of the best kind. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: May 14, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4253-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Margaret Ferguson/Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Feb. 6, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Simple text, short chapters, and plenty of illustrations will appeal to emerging readers who prefer just a little shiver...


From the Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol series , Vol. 1

What happens if you move to a new town and your house is haunted? Andres is about to find out!

Andres Miedoso—his last name means “fearful” in Spanish—is “definitely not the coolest and bravest kid in the world.” In fact, Andres likes normal-boring and understands normal-boring, because he is normal-boring. But when the brown-skinned, curly haired Latino child and his family move to Kersville, he finds out his new home is anything but normal-boring. Fortunately, his next-door neighbor, a black boy named Desmond Cole who is the same age as Andres, is “the coolest, bravest kid in the world.” Desmond’s business as stated on his business card is “Ghost Patrol.” How lucky should a boy feel to live in a haunted house? Very—if you’re Desmond. Not so lucky if you’re Andres. But when the ghost eats a lasagna that makes him sick and tells them he’s been moving from house to house, Andres feels sorry and invites the ghost to stay as long as he promises “not to do any spooky stuff.” A deal is struck, a friendship is born, and a new series for chapter-book readers gets off to a good start.

Simple text, short chapters, and plenty of illustrations will appeal to emerging readers who prefer just a little shiver with their story—and to other readers too. (Suspense. 6-9)

Pub Date: Dec. 12, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5344-1039-8

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet