A rousing and wholesome sequel.

THE BARF OF THE BEDAZZLER

From the Fart Quest series , Vol. 2

The fearless apprentices are back with more adventures as they try and prove themselves as heroes.

Moxie Battleborne has become stronger, wielding her weapon like a proper Level 2 hero; Pan Silversnow, particular as ever, has increased her abilities—but Fart is still working on beginners’ skills. It’s been one month since they’ve been on their own after their masters were killed by goblins, and Fart yearns to be further along, mastering the most difficult spells. Now that the three have more experience under their belts, the Great and Powerful Kevin sends our favorite phibling assistant, TickTock, to retrieve the heroic trio for his next perilous quest. Kevin needs the barf of a bedazzler, a rare and potentially deadly creature. The trio sets off to the city of Wetwater in search of Diremaw the Dread, a menacing pirate captain who supposedly knows the whereabouts of a bedazzler. Along the way, they are kidnapped by muck elves, made to defeat the muck man SquishRabble, and robbed by a mischievous crew. Through it all, the friends stick together, overcoming assumptions about themselves and one another. Simple, humorous text and compelling action sequences from start to finish make this a fun, accessible read. Black-and-white illustrations convey helpful information in an amusing and succinct manner, often extending the meaning of the text. Pan is cued as Asian; Moxie appears White; Fart reads as Black.

A rousing and wholesome sequel. (Fantasy. 8-11)

Pub Date: Feb. 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-20638-1

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: Dec. 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2021

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Dizzyingly silly.

CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS AND THE TYRANNICAL RETALIATION OF THE TURBO TOILET 2000

From the Captain Underpants series , Vol. 11

The famous superhero returns to fight another villain with all the trademark wit and humor the series is known for.

Despite the title, Captain Underpants is bizarrely absent from most of this adventure. His school-age companions, George and Harold, maintain most of the spotlight. The creative chums fool around with time travel and several wacky inventions before coming upon the evil Turbo Toilet 2000, making its return for vengeance after sitting out a few of the previous books. When the good Captain shows up to save the day, he brings with him dynamic action and wordplay that meet the series’ standards. The Captain Underpants saga maintains its charm even into this, the 11th volume. The epic is filled to the brim with sight gags, toilet humor, flip-o-ramas and anarchic glee. Holding all this nonsense together is the author’s good-natured sense of harmless fun. The humor is never gross or over-the-top, just loud and innocuous. Adults may roll their eyes here and there, but youngsters will eat this up just as quickly as they devoured every other Underpants episode.

Dizzyingly silly. (Humor. 8-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 26, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-545-50490-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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If not as effervescent as Roz’s first outing, it is still a provocatively contemplative one.

THE WILD ROBOT ESCAPES

Roz, a robot who learned to adapt to life among wild creatures in her first outing, seeks to return to the island she calls home.

Brown’s sequel to The Wild Robot (2016) continues an intriguing premise: What would happen to a robot after challenges in an unexpected environment cause it to evolve in unusual ways? As this book opens, Roz is delivered to a farm where she helps a widower with two young children run a dairy operation that has been in his family for generations. Roz reveals her backstory to the cows, who are supportive of the robot’s determination to return to the island and to her adopted son, the goose Brightbill. The cows, the children, and finally Brightbill himself come to Roz’s aid. The focus on Roz’s escape from human control results in a somewhat solemn and episodic narrative, with an extended journey and chase after Roz leaves the farm. Dr. Molovo, a literal deus ex machina, appears near the end of the story to provide a means of rescue. She is Roz’s designer/creator, and, intrigued by the robot’s adaptation and evolution but cognizant of the threat that those achievements might represent to humans, she assists Roz and Brightbill in their quest. The satisfactory (if inevitable-feeling) conclusion may prompt discussion about individual agency and determination, whether for robots or people.

If not as effervescent as Roz’s first outing, it is still a provocatively contemplative one. (Fiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: March 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-316-38204-5

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

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