RICKY RICOTTA’S GIANT ROBOT VS. THE VOODOO VULTURES FROM VENUS

It’s easy to see how Pilkey’s high-action, easy-reading chapter novel with a comic-book feel would appeal to younger readers. The black-and-white stylish pictures by Ontiveros are way cool and the text is insouciant and funny. This is the third book that pairs the tiny bespectacled mouse, Ricky, with his super-strong, giant robot buddy, a sharp-jawed fellow who looks like an out-of-shape wrestler with rodent ears. Because Ricky is being punished for acting irresponsibly—he and his robot have come home late for dinner again—they are the only ones on the Planet Earth who miss the television show Rocky Rodent. And it’s a good thing too, because that very night a group of Voodoo Vultures from the Planet Venus, tired of eating the melted mess that passes for food on their super hot planet, beam down rays through the television, hypnotizing Earth’s entire population, except for Ricky, into obeying their wishes. When they arrive on Earth, the ravenous vultures order the hypnotized mice to bring them good Earth cooking, in a funny throwaway touch demanding “more chocolate chip cookies” but “no more rice cakes,” until Ricky is able to figure out how to save the day. Parents will be happy to know this tale does have a moral, “responsibility . . . is doing the right thing at the right time,” though giggling fans may miss it. Also containing a rather lame flip-o-rama and instructions on how to draw the characters, this book is silly good fun. (Fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-439-23624-X

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Blue Sky/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2000

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

THE COOKIE-STORE CAT

There is an ineffable sweetness in Rylant’s work, which skirts the edge of sentimentality but rarely tumbles, saved by her simple artistry. This companion piece to The Bookshop Dog (1996) relates how the cookie-store cat was found, a tiny, skinny kitten, very early one day as the bakers came in to work. The cat gets morning kisses, when the bakers tell him that he is “sweeter than any cookie” and “prettier than marzipan.” Then he makes his rounds, out the screen door painted with “cherry drops and gingerbread men” to visit the fish-shop owner, the yarn lady, and the bookshop, where Martha Jane makes a cameo appearance. Back at the cookie store, the cat listens to Father Eugene, who eats his three Scotch chewies and tells about the new baby in the parish, and sits with the children and their bags of cookies. At Christmas he wears a bell and a red ribbon, and all the children get free Santa cookies. The cheerful illustrations are done in paint as thick as frosting; the flattened shapes and figures are a bit cookie-shaped themselves. A few recipes are included in this yummy, comforting book. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-590-54329-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Blue Sky/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1999

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

GORILLA WALK

PLB 0-688-16510-9 This true adventure in the jungles of Uganda on the trail of the mountain gorilla will make armchair travelers shiver, and leave the squeamish grateful not to be trudging through mucky ankle-deep swamps, traversing giant fallen fig tree bridges over ravines that drop hundreds of feet into rocks and thorns, and coping with dreaded stinging safari ants. The Lewins traveled to Uganda in 1997, to the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park for an opportunity to view the mountain gorillas that have been habituated. Every step of the way the authors provide thumbnail sketches of plants and animals, and a detailed description of the journey. The gorillas appear in watercolor paintings that are dramatic and realistic, for a picture- book adventure not to be missed, and, with the continuing unrest in the area, perhaps not to be replicated any time soon. (map, index) (Picture book/nonfiction. 6-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-688-16509-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1999

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more