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The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters: The Uncanny Express 

” . . . fans of Dame Agatha’s whodunits will enjoy catching the sly riffs.” (Booklist)
“LaReau has a lot of fun with her Agatha Christie homage, filling her book to the brim with requisite gags and puns . . . Move over, Holmes and Watson. There’s a new detecting pair in town, and the name’s Bland.” (Kirkus Reviews)


The Infamous Ratsos Are Not Afraid

★”Another tale for fledgling chapter-book readers that highlights the profound value of kindness to others.” (Booklist, starred review)

“Readers will be following right alongside these two likable rats as Ralphie confronts his past misdeeds and Louie screws his courage to the sticking post….Charming.” (Kirkus)

Louie and Ralphie Ratso have a genius idea: if they clear out the lot down the street, they can use all the junk lying around to build makeshift games for a Big City FunTime Arcade! With their friends to help, they’ll be able to recycle all the old abandoned stuff into whack-a-mouse, a high-striker, a fortune-telling booth, and more. Everyone says the house next to the lot is haunted, but if Louie just pretends it’s not there, maybe he can ignore the goose bumps he gets every time he looks at it. Ralphie’s head’s not exactly in the game, either, because of some rumors that have been swirling around school. But they’re Ratsos, and like their dad, Big Lou, Ratsos aren’t afraid of anything — right? Kara LaReau and Matt Myers team up for a second surprisingly touching chapter book proving that sometimes the things you fear the most aren’t at all what you thought — and might be exactly what you need to feel better. (For ages 5-8)


The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters: The Jolly Regina 

An Indie Next Winter 2017 Pick

“LaReau serves her humor dry, adding some serious swashbuckling for good measure…Meanwhile Hill’s pen-and-ink cartoons give the book precisely the right strange and silly tone.” (Kirkus)

“With dry humor and a touch of snark, this first book of a new series is a smart choice for readers who have mastered Bink & Gollie but aren’t quite ready for Lemony Snicket. (School Library Connection)

“Filled with puns, intrigue, and ample evidence that women make excellent—and ruthless—pirates, it’s a promising introduction to the Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters series.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Replete with puns, gags, and life lessons, this transgressive voyage may “ketch” fans of envelope pushers like Barry Yourgrau, Alan Katz, or Roald Dahl.”(Booklist)

“Plenty of references to booty and poop decks make for easy humor, while more subtle comedy comes from the deadpan third-person narration.” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)

In the spirit of A Series of Unfortunate Events and the Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series, The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters will captivate middle-grade readers looking for humor, hijinks, and a swashbuckling good time. Meet Jaundice and Kale Bland, two sisters who avoid excitement at any cost. Together, they patiently await the return of their parents, who left on an errand years ago and have never returned.

One day, the Bland sisters are kidnapped by an all-female band of pirates. They’re unwillingly swept into a high-seas romp that might just lead to solving the mystery of what happened to their parents. With whimsical illustrations and Roald Dahl–esque wit, The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters is the visually stunning, laugh-out-loud funny start to a new series for readers who are looking for an anything-but-bland adventure. (For ages 8-12)



A Geisel Honor Book (!!!!!)

An Amazon Best Book of the Year

Winner of a Nerdy (Nerdy Book Club)

A Cybils Award Finalist

★”Louie and Ralphie Ratso are determined to be as tough as their truck-driver father, but the rats’ efforts go hilariously awry in this funny, thoughtful, and smart chapter book…LaReau packs substantial comedy and poignant emotion into each chapter (the boys’ mother has “been gone for a little while now”), adeptly amplified by Myers’s spot art.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“LaReau keeps the action high and completely appropriate for readers embarking on chapter books…The humor springs from their foiled efforts and their reactions to their failures. Myers’ sprightly grayscale drawings capture action and characters and add humorous details, such as the Ratsos’ ‘unwelcome’ mat. A nicely inventive little morality ‘tail’ for newly independent readers.” —Kirkus Reviews

“The father-son dynamic is realistic and honest. Young readers will feel for the family as they learn to deal with the absence of a loved one. This slender novel packs a strong message of overcoming loss through love and kindness. A solid purchase; a chapter book that entertains and uplifts.” —School Library Journal

“Generous black-and-white illustrations evoke setting (a rundown city neighborhood) as well as reinforce the storyline and the light tone of the text, with its natural vocabulary. Here’s a beginning chapter book with heart.” —Horn Book

Louie and Ralphie Ratso’s dad, Big Lou, always says that there are two kinds of people: those who are tough and those who are soft. Louie and Ralphie are tough, tough, tough, just like Big Lou, and they’re going to prove it. But every time they try to show just how tough they are, the Ratso brothers end up accidentally doing good deeds instead. What’ll Big Lou do when he finds out they’ve been acting like softies all over the Big City? Perfect for emerging and reluctant readers, this clever and surprisingly warmhearted chapter book shows that being tough all the time can be really tough. (For ages 5-8)

A few words from me regarding the Geisel Honor!



NO SLURPING, NO BURPING! A Tale of Table Manners

Evie and Simon always mind their manners. But sometimes, they have to mind their father’s manners, too.

You see, Father POUNDS the table with his silverware. He SLURPS and BURPS when he eats his soup. He even R E A C H E S across the table to grab more food. Will Evie and Simon be able to teach him table manners before their surprise guest arrives (For ages 5-8)

OTTO: The Boy Who Loved Cars

Otto loves cars more than anything else in the world. He plays with cars, he dreams about cars . . . he even eats cars (his favorite cereal is Wheelies). But that all changes when he awakes one morning to find that he has somehow turned into a car. Otto soon realizes that there is a downside to actually becoming his favorite thing. While the rest of his friends get to play and draw, Otto can only honk and sputter. Will Otto ever be able to switch gears and go back to being a boy? (For ages 5-8)


Ugly Fish is ugly and big and mean, and he won’t share his driftwood tunnel or his special briny flakes with anyone. And that means the wimpy little fish who keep showing up in his tank have got to go. But then one day someone bigger and uglier and maybe even meaner arrives . . . and suddenly Ugly Fish isn’t feeling quite so confident anymore. (For ages 4-7)

All available where fine books are sold, including your friendly neighborhood bookstore, Indiebound, Amazon, and B&N.

2 thoughts on “Books

  1. Pingback: KidLitCon19 is a year away but look who’s coming! – KidLitCon Providence 2019

  2. Pingback: Look Who’s Coming to #KidLitCon2019 (next year!) – KidLitCon Providence 2019

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