PIRATES DRIVE BUSES

Blister me eyebrows, the pirate from Pirates Eat Porridge (2007) is back. Breathless over-the-top humor from Down Under is the order of the day as siblings Heidi and Billy join their hirsute and logic-impaired friend on a wild bus tour. Joining the oceanic cast on the bus, the children find starfish, crawfish, octopus, the “parrot” who looks like a pig and a pirate named Frances Fallover. It’s hard to say just what’s going on in the wild bus ride, but new readers won’t care. They’ll just move from one nutty situation to another until the bus tour ends with a discovery of the pirate’s lost ship, the SS You Beauty. Wackiness is shored up with clear black-and-white illustrations and lots of repeated words and phrases. Nonsense abounds—but, as the pirate tells us, “Sense is for seagulls.” Kids too old for Mo Willems’s Pigeon books but who love the zaniness of Lane Smith and Dav Pilkey are the right readers for this series. (Fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: March 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-1-59643-313-7

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Neal Porter/Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2008

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JUDY MOODY SAVES THE WORLD!

McDonald’s irrepressible third-grader (Judy Moody Gets Famous, 2001, etc.) takes a few false steps before hitting full stride. This time, not only has her genius little brother Stink submitted a competing entry in the Crazy Strips Band-Aid design contest, but in the wake of her science teacher’s heads-up about rainforest destruction and endangered animals, she sees every member of her family using rainforest products. It’s all more than enough to put her in a Mood, which gets her in trouble at home for letting Stink’s pet toad, Toady, go free, and at school for surreptitiously collecting all the pencils (made from rainforest cedar) in class. And to top it off, Stink’s Crazy Strips entry wins a prize, while she gets . . . a certificate. Chronicled amusingly in Reynolds’s frequent ink-and-tea drawings, Judy goes from pillar to post—but she justifies the pencil caper convincingly enough to spark a bottle drive that nets her and her classmates not only a hundred seedling trees for Costa Rica, but the coveted school Giraffe Award (given to those who stick their necks out), along with T-shirts and ice cream coupons. Judy’s growing corps of fans will crow “Rare!” right along with her. (Fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2002

ISBN: 0-7636-1446-7

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2002

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WATCH OUT FOR SHARKS!

For shark fanciers, a look at a Los Angeles Natural History Museum exhibit, Sharks: Fact and Fantasy. Now touring the country, it includes models of large and small sharks, many of them swimming in simulated undersea settings. The text follows a group of young museum-goers as they examine shark teeth, fossil sharks, sharks in art, and a living shark embryo; shark anatomy, special adaptations, types of sharks, and some shark facts are also included. Photos are clear, colorful and engaging. Not comprehensive, but an attractive added purchase. Pronunciation guide; additional reading; index. (Nonfiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 23, 1991

ISBN: 0-395-57560-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Clarion

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1991

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