A consistently clever and charming series.

KONDO & KEZUMI ARE NOT ALONE

From the Kondo & Kezumi series , Vol. 3

Seafaring best friends experience new adventures both whimsical and thought-provoking.

Following Kondo & Kezumi Reach Bell Bottom (2021), this third series outing sees the titular pals deciding to take one last detour on their way back to their home island. At Tiny Island, they happen upon Lilliputian inhabitants known as the Teenies. Seeing what looks like beach debris and thinking they can help clean it up, Kondo and Kezumi begin to tidy it until they come to a shocking dual realization: Their help is a hindrance, and their large stature is terrifying the diminutive islanders. Once they arrive back at their native isle, something looks amiss: Their home is dripping with slime, and an unwelcome guest is creeping about. Circling back around to their time on Tiny Island, they suss out their feelings about judgments, perception, and giving the unfamiliar a chance; could what seems scary be a new opportunity? Goodner and Tsurumi’s latest installment offers a true visual feast, from the large, brightly rendered illustrations and imaginative worldbuilding all the way down to smaller details, such as the tiny lanterns that house each page number. Imbued with an easy-to-understand moral (it reads like a grandchild of the Berenstain Bears without all the hokiness), Goodner’s tale manages to steer clear of any mawkishness, bringing its narrative satisfyingly full circle. As Kondo and Kezumi resolve this adventure, more are promised for those who may be eagerly anticipating more fun.

A consistently clever and charming series. (Graphic fantasy. 7-10)

Pub Date: April 6, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-7595-5472-6

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

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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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A fitting farewell, still funny, acute, and positive in its view of human nature even in its 37th episode.

HORRIBLE HARRY SAYS GOODBYE

From the Horrible Harry series , Vol. 37

A long-running series reaches its closing chapters.

Having, as Kline notes in her warm valedictory acknowledgements, taken 30 years to get through second and third grade, Harry Spooger is overdue to move on—but not just into fourth grade, it turns out, as his family is moving to another town as soon as the school year ends. The news leaves his best friend, narrator “Dougo,” devastated…particularly as Harry doesn’t seem all that fussed about it. With series fans in mind, the author takes Harry through a sort of last-day-of-school farewell tour. From his desk he pulls a burned hot dog and other items that featured in past episodes, says goodbye to Song Lee and other classmates, and even (for the first time ever) leads Doug and readers into his house and memento-strewn room for further reminiscing. Of course, Harry isn’t as blasé about the move as he pretends, and eyes aren’t exactly dry when he departs. But hardly is he out of sight before Doug is meeting Mohammad, a new neighbor from Syria who (along with further diversifying a cast that began as mostly white but has become increasingly multiethnic over the years) will also be starting fourth grade at summer’s end, and planning a written account of his “horrible” buddy’s exploits. Finished illustrations not seen.

A fitting farewell, still funny, acute, and positive in its view of human nature even in its 37th episode. (Fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: Nov. 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-451-47963-1

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Sept. 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2018

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