Owl’s Outstanding Donuts, Carolrhoda Books 2019!
Robin Yardi, author of The Midnight War of Mateo Martinez, tells a story full of mystery, feathers, and sprinkles. After Mattie Waters loses her mother, she goes to live with her aunt, the owner of a roadside donut shop in Big Sur, California. When an owl taps on Mattie’s window one night, Mattie looks out to see something suspicious taking place nearby. With help from her friends—and from Alfred, a stuffy but good-hearted owl—she’ll set out to find the culprits, facing fears that have followed her since her mother’s death.
“Doughn’t miss this earnest tale.” —Kirkus Reviews
“An exciting conclusion will satisfy young mystery fans, though the book excels when focusing on Mattie’s internal journey. Author Yardi’s love for nature shines through in this quiet but quirky story about friendship, family, and of course, donuts.” —Booklist
Students will enjoy putting together clues and discussing how they would solve the mystery, and the decadent donut descriptions at the beginning of each chapter make this book the perfect excuse for a classroom donut party. Allison Tran, Mission Viejo Library, CA —School Library Journal Online
“This eco-mystery may appeal to fans of Carl Hiaasen. Narrated mostly from Mattie’s perspective, with occasional chapters from the point of view of Alfred the irritable owl, this book has gentle humor, some action at the climax, and a touching examination of Mattie’s grief. With strong pacing, a fully-realized setting, and well-developed characters, there’s something for everyone.” —School Library Journal
“With an owl who likes strawberry iced doughnuts, an environmental crime, and a family business at stake, Robin Yardi has crafted a sweet mystery about the power of friendship and facing one’s fears.”—Jacqueline K. Ogburn, author of The Unicorn in the Barn
“Readers of all ages will be cheering—and hooting!—for Mattie and her friends as they track down the culprits in this brilliant, high-stakes mystery with heart. Owl’s Outstanding Donuts is, well, simply outstanding!” —Kristen Kittscher, author of The Wig in the Window
Listen to the first chapter!
The Midnight War of Mateo Martinez, Carolrhoda Books 2016
“When Mateo sees two skunks steal his sister’s tricycle, he can’t believe his eyes. Fortunately, he and his friend Ashwin are aspiring knights, and they’re prepared for a quest to retrieve the trike and win a stinky midnight war.”
“A magnificent novel that defines what it is to be an older brother, a friend, and, yes, even a knight.”
Best Books for Kids 2016 from The New York Public Library
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They Just Know: Animal Instincts, Arbordale Publishing 2015
“The anthropomorphized scenes will certainly elicit chuckles from both adult and child readers: a mother sea turtle rocking her baby in a cradle, a baby kingsnake coiled round a teddy bear, a horn shark in a highchair, tiny tadpoles wearing backpacks. Turns of the pages reveal realistic scenes of the animals in their natural habitats. And the final message—animals don’t need toys, help, or hugs, “but you do!”—is one every child will relish hearing.
The dichotomy between the anthropomorphized scenes and the realistic ones artfully highlights the divide between the animal world and the human one.”
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