A tale of zany heroes protecting the world in entertaining ways.

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TEAM STRYKER

VOLUME 001

In this debut collection of Grieve’s webcomic, a ragtag team of patriotic fighters faces sundry villains during important, if generally absurd, missions.

Eagleheart is a true patriot who was born on July 4, 1776; he had the heart of a bald eagle transplanted into his chest to combat a rare blood disease—a set of circumstances that has improbably made him nearly immortal. In the present day, he leads the militaristic Team Stryker, consisting of the hulking Deadeye; the appropriately named Casanova; and V-Scope, an expert marksman with an obscure past. This episodic book, collecting issues 001-005, features one mission per issue, starting with “Mexican Standoff.” In it, the team is targeted by The Flaming Swallow, a baddie in the style of a Mexican wrestler who’s apparently upset that he was rejected as a Team Stryker recruit. Other villains are similarly wacky, from Dr. Dinosaur, an intelligent velociraptor with a time machine in “A Walk in the (Jurassic) Park,” to evil Russian Boris Drunkov, whose diabolical plot in “Dam-Nation” is to spike the Hoover Dam with vodka. The good guys are equally silly: Eagleheart barks an order for his team to report in when they’re standing next to him, and V-Scope spends much of his time having one-sided conversations with a butterfly he’s named “Jeffery.” Grieve’s broad humor makes it perfectly clear who or what he’s lampooning, including the 1980s TV series The A-Team (Eagleheart, with his ever present cigar, is much like that group’s leader, John “Hannibal” Smith). The stories are jam-packed with jokes, and the standout, “Too Mainstream,” in which hipster assassins target mega-celebrities from online videos, is particularly amusing. Some bizarre characters, though, could have used some more back story; Eagleheart, for example, hints at wars he’s fought during his 200-plus years, and one can’t help but wonder how little-seen Gen. Strongbottom, who assigns the team missions, lost his hand (since replaced with a hook). Grieve’s illustrations are crude but suitably cartoonish and filled with visual jokes.

A tale of zany heroes protecting the world in entertaining ways.

Pub Date: Dec. 20, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4602-9658-5

Page Count: 128

Publisher: FriesenPress

Review Posted Online: April 21, 2017

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RABBIT'S PAJAMA PARTY

PLB 0-06-027617-7 paper 0-06-446722-8 New to the MathStart series is this quick take on sequencing, although almost any story with a beginning, middle, and end would serve as well. A sleepover is the premise; Rabbit invites his friends Mouse, Giraffe, and Elephant to the party. The action is described in a few short rhyming sentences that outline the order of events. Friends are invited inside, a pizza dinner is gobbled up, juice follows dinner, and ice cream sundaes for dessert conclude the meal. At bedtime, the four friends pull on their pajamas and zip themselves into sleeping bags while Rabbit’s mother takes a picture. Hand shadows and scary stories come with lights out, until Mouse is heard snoring peacefully. Just when it appears that it may be a stretch to locate the math involved, a final page asks, “What Happened at Rabbit’s Pajama Party?” to prompt children to think about what happened first, next, and last. Although Remkiewicz wiggles out of showing “hot fudge” by present a bottle of chocolate syrup instead, no one will question the accuracy of his animals’ zeal; they are all smiles, delightfully displaying silly expressions. Characteristically, the final spread offers tips and suggestions for adults who may want to extend the sequencing concept with follow-up activities. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Sept. 30, 1999

ISBN: 0-06-027616-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1999

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OINK!

Toddler-size sleuths can match cheerful barnyard animals to their appropriate sounds in this sparkling board book from Wojtowycz. Each spread features the typical habitat for a familiar animal, such as a grassy paddock or a clear blue lake. One page frames the question about a typical animal sound, such as, “Who says . . . Oink Oink?” The answer will be one of four friendly farm animals—duck, cow, pig, and horse—suspended on a colored ribbon, which can be placed into a slot on the facing page. Jewel tones dominate the illustrations; the color-coordinated ribbons provide additional clues to the correct answers. Deceptively simple in appearance, this wonderfully resourceful book is packed with learning opportunities, including reading, since every creature is labeled on one side with its name. An engaging first look at some favorite animals of the toddler set. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 1999

ISBN: 1-86233-084-0

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 1999

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