A cute ode to pizza and human ingenuity.

ALIEN NATE

Alien Nate’s mission to bring pizza to the Vegans is threatened by men in beige suits.

Alien Nate hails from planet Vega, where everyone is named Nate because the planet’s technological advances have dulled all the Nates’ imaginations. This hasn’t proven to be a problem until the Vegans intercept Voyager I, sent from Earth with information about our civilization and…a pizza. Without the tools or the creativity to make their own pies, the Vegans send Nate on an expedition to Earth, his mission to gain more of the delicious food. When Nate is shipwrecked on arrival in a snowy region of North America, he encounters Fazel, a brown-skinned immigrant boy who protects him from the men in beige suits and teaches him the ways of Earth and pizza. While tasting all the food he can get and experiencing different toppings on pizza—the pineapple-on-pizza debate is tackled—Nate enlists the help of Fazel and friends to fix his spaceship and bring the secret of the ’za back to Vega. Whamond fills the book’s pages with expressive illustrations and absurd and comical questions and observations about the human experience as seen through the eyes of an alien—one who loves not just pizza, but also the humans who create the pizza, including all the noises (both voluntary and un-) that leak from them.

A cute ode to pizza and human ingenuity. (Graphic science fiction. 6-9)

Pub Date: April 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5253-0209-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: Jan. 21, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

What a wag.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

DOG MAN

From the Dog Man series , Vol. 1

What do you get from sewing the head of a smart dog onto the body of a tough police officer? A new superhero from the incorrigible creator of Captain Underpants.

Finding a stack of old Dog Mancomics that got them in trouble back in first grade, George and Harold decide to craft a set of new(ish) adventures with (more or less) improved art and spelling. These begin with an origin tale (“A Hero Is Unleashed”), go on to a fiendish attempt to replace the chief of police with a “Robo Chief” and then a temporarily successful scheme to make everyone stupid by erasing all the words from every book (“Book ’Em, Dog Man”), and finish off with a sort of attempted alien invasion evocatively titled “Weenie Wars: The Franks Awaken.” In each, Dog Man squares off against baddies (including superinventor/archnemesis Petey the cat) and saves the day with a clever notion. With occasional pauses for Flip-O-Rama featurettes, the tales are all framed in brightly colored sequential panels with hand-lettered dialogue (“How do you feel, old friend?” “Ruff!”) and narrative. The figures are studiously diverse, with police officers of both genders on view and George, the chief, and several other members of the supporting cast colored in various shades of brown. Pilkey closes as customary with drawing exercises, plus a promise that the canine crusader will be further unleashed in a sequel.

What a wag. (Graphic fantasy. 7-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-545-58160-8

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 1, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

The message is worthy, but this phoned-in follow-up doesn’t add anything significant.

THE WORLD NEEDS MORE PURPLE SCHOOLS

From the My Purple World series

A color-themed vision of what school should be like.

In what amounts to a rehash of The World Needs More Purple People (2020), Bell and Hart address adult as well as young readers to explain what “curious and kind you” can do to make school, or for that matter the universe, a better place. Again culminating in the vague but familiar “JUST. BE. YOU!” the program remains much the same—including asking questions both “universe-sized” (“Could you make a burrito larger than a garbage truck?”) and “smaller, people-sized” (i.e., personal), working hard to learn and make things, offering praise and encouragement, speaking up and out, laughing together, and listening to others. In the illustrations, light-skinned, blond-haired narrator Penny poses amid a busy, open-mouthed, diverse cast that includes a child wearing a hijab and one who uses a wheelchair. Wiseman opts to show fewer grown-ups here, but the children are the same as in the earlier book, and a scene showing two figures blowing chocolate milk out of their noses essentially recycles a visual joke from the previous outing. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

The message is worthy, but this phoned-in follow-up doesn’t add anything significant. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: June 21, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-43490-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: April 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2022

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more