Not Jennings’ best, but worth it for cat fans.


Can’t a kitty catch a break for a nap? Not in the Fitz house.

Hissy is a simple cat. He wants his food, he wants clean water, and he wants some peace and quiet for a nap. Georgie, his 8-year-old human girl, is too loving; she often elicits a hiss for waking Hissy from his important naps. Her father is a carpenter, so he earns hisses for making too much noise. But the real problem is Zeb, Georgie’s untamed 3-year-old brother. Zeb is constantly noisy and constantly chasing Hissy. Zeb’s twin, Abe, is perfectly tamed and probably receives the fewest hisses. Sometimes Hissy can catch a quick snooze at his friend Igloo’s house, but only if the window or door is left open. Hissy concludes that wherever you find a human, you find noise. He escapes into the night for a nap, but cats are nocturnal, and he always has trouble sleeping at night. Igloo organizes a soccer match to tire him out; maybe if he snuggles with Georgie, Hissy will finally get some shut-eye…but it’s only a few hours until dawn….Jennings, author of the popular Guinea Dog series, tackles the feline mind with fair results. Narrator Hissy is a hard cat to like, and his annoyance with his humans can backfire. The soccer match in an otherwise realistic tale feels a bit out of place, but cat lovers will see their feline friends in Hissy (especially if those felines can be a bit hissy at times).

Not Jennings’ best, but worth it for cat fans. (Fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: Jan. 6, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-60684-596-7

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Egmont USA

Review Posted Online: Oct. 1, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2014

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


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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This is rather a silly story, and I don't believe children will think it particularly funny. A paper hanger and painter finds time on his hands in winter, and spends it in reading of arctic exploration. It is all given reality when he receives a present of a penguin, which makes its nest in the refrigerator on cubes of ice, mates with a lonely penguin from the zoo, and produces a family of penguins which help set the Poppers on their feet.

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 1938

ISBN: 978-0-316-05843-8

Page Count: 139

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1938

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