cover image March of the Mini Beasts

March of the Mini Beasts

Ada Hopper, illus. by Sam Ricks. S&S/Little Simon, $5.99 paper (128p) ISBN 978-1-4814-5728-6

Hopper brings a wealth of humor to this series opener about three Hispanic second-graders nicknamed the Data Set, thanks to their science-minded smarts and taste for adventure. After Gabe Martinez, Laura Reyes, and Cesar Moreno meet a quirky scientist, Dr. Benson, while selling chocolate bars for the school’s science club, one of the man’s inventions brings several animal toys to life, including a stegosaurus. Ricks’s pencil illustrations amplify the story’s freewheeling energy as the kids try to wrangle the fast-growing animals, and a time-travel cliffhanger ending will leave readers reaching for the sequel, Don’t Disturb the Dinosaurs, available simultaneously. Ages 5–9. Illustrator’s agent: Minju Chang, Bookstop Literary. (Apr.)