This Dahl-esque tale may not be quite scrumdiddlyumptious, but it’s a mostly entertaining one.

GRANDPA'S GREAT ESCAPE

Jack and his grandfather, a former RAF pilot, are inseparable, even though Grandpa’s grasp on reality is slipping.

It’s 1983, and 12-year-old Jack adores his grandfather and the stories he tells of the Battle of Britain and the Blitz. Problem is, Grandpa lives in his stories now. Jack knows just how to talk to Grandpa: he’s Squadron Leader, and Grandpa is Wing Commander. When Grandpa is found stuck on a church steeple thinking he’s flying his plane, the vicar suggests Twilight Towers. Jack insists Grandpa never be put in a home, but after a disastrous class trip to the history museum that ends in police custody, Grandpa is carted off to Twilight Towers, which is run by the ominously named and more than a little peculiar-seeming Miss Swine. Can Jack and Grandpa effect an escape? And what is really going on with Miss Swine and her cadre of burly nurses? Walliams walks a fine line in his attempt to make dementia funny and doesn’t always succeed. Grandpa’s misunderstanding of the world around him gets repetitious. Though Jack and Grandpa have a realistic and touching relationship, Jack acts much younger than 12. The book’s use of various typefaces and fonts for emphasis and drama, plus ample illustrations from the always splendid Ross, will keep the pages in this plump volume turning, though.

This Dahl-esque tale may not be quite scrumdiddlyumptious, but it’s a mostly entertaining one. (Historical fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: Feb. 28, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-256089-6

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

With plenty left to be resolved, the next entry will be eagerly sought after.

RISE OF THE EARTH DRAGON

From the Dragon Masters series , Vol. 1

Drake has been selected by the king to serve as a Dragon Master, quite a change for an 8-year-old farmer boy.

The dragons are a secret, and the reason King Roland has them is a mystery, but what is clear is that the Dragon Stone has identified Drake as one of the rare few children who have a special connection with dragons and the ability to serve as a trainer. Drake’s dragon is a long brown creature with, at first, no particular talents that Drake can identify. He calls the dragon Worm. It isn’t long before Drake begins to realize he has a very strong connection with Worm and can share what seem to be his dragon’s thoughts. After one of the other Dragon Masters decides to illicitly take the dragons outside, disaster strikes. The cave they are passing through collapses, blocking the passageway, and then Worm’s special talent becomes evident. The first of a new series of early chapter books, this entry is sure to attract fans. Brief chapters, large print, lots of action, attractive illustrations in every spread, including a maplike panorama, an enviable protagonist—who wouldn’t want to be a Dragon Master?—all combine to make an entertaining read.

With plenty left to be resolved, the next entry will be eagerly sought after. (Fantasy. 7-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 24, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-545-64624-6

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Branches/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more