Readers will look forward to the sequel to this dizzying loop-the-loop.

THE EXPLORERS

THE DOOR IN THE ALLEY

From the Explorers series , Vol. 1

A boy used to predictability joins forces with a girl who wants to belong in this wildly funny adventure.

STEM genius Sebastian lives a perfectly appropriate life, but when he accidentally goes the wrong way down a creepy alley on the way home from school, he winds up at The Explorers Society, where order is turned upside down and backward. When the society’s president tells Sebastian to do something “inappropriate” as part of his punishment for trespassing, he steals a mysterious box from the society’s archives. Subsequently, he’s flung into the unexpected, where he meets orphan Evie, who has lived within the gray walls of the Wayward School since her parents died two years earlier. Her boring weekly dinners with the charitable Andersons take an unboring turn when two clearly villainous men show up looking for something. Before the kids—both of them white—know it, they’ve gone from strangers to friends working together to work out the fate of the Filipendulous Five, a famous group of explorers that mysteriously disbanded years ago and to whom Evie has a personal connection. Animals in teeny hats, Wonderland-style logic, and loads of wordplay and sarcasm will keep readers giggling all the way through to the dramatic—and metafictive—cliffhanger.

Readers will look forward to the sequel to this dizzying loop-the-loop. (Adventure. 8-13)

Pub Date: April 25, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-101-94005-1

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Jan. 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2017

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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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Is this the end? Well, no…the series will stagger on through at least one more scheduled sequel.

CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS AND THE TERRIFYING RETURN OF TIPPY TINKLETROUSERS

From the Captain Underpants series , Vol. 9

Sure signs that the creative wells are running dry at last, the Captain’s ninth, overstuffed outing both recycles a villain (see Book 4) and offers trendy anti-bullying wish fulfillment.

Not that there aren’t pranks and envelope-pushing quips aplenty. To start, in an alternate ending to the previous episode, Principal Krupp ends up in prison (“…a lot like being a student at Jerome Horwitz Elementary School, except that the prison had better funding”). There, he witnesses fellow inmate Tippy Tinkletrousers (aka Professor Poopypants) escape in a giant Robo-Suit (later reduced to time-traveling trousers). The villain sets off after George and Harold, who are in juvie (“not much different from our old school…except that they have library books here.”). Cut to five years previous, in a prequel to the whole series. George and Harold link up in kindergarten to reduce a quartet of vicious bullies to giggling insanity with a relentless series of pranks involving shaving cream, spiders, effeminate spoof text messages and friendship bracelets. Pilkey tucks both topical jokes and bathroom humor into the cartoon art, and ups the narrative’s lexical ante with terms like “pharmaceuticals” and “theatrical flair.” Unfortunately, the bullies’ sad fates force Krupp to resign, so he’s not around to save the Earth from being destroyed later on by Talking Toilets and other invaders…

Is this the end? Well, no…the series will stagger on through at least one more scheduled sequel. (Fantasy. 10-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-545-17534-0

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 20, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2012

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