She’s the pussycat love child of James Bond and Zsa Zsa Gabor, and who can’t love that? (Fantasy. 7-11)

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SNAZZY CAT CAPERS

From the Snazzy Cat Capers series , Vol. 1

The name’s Ophelia, Ophelia von Hairball V, watch your sparkly valuables, darling.

Fluffy, white cat Ophelia von Hairball of Burglaria is the world’s greatest cat burglar—and the No. 1 agent of the Furry Feline Burglary Institute. She can purr-loin an emerald tiara from the whirl of a fancy-dress party while looking fur-lawless. This pussycat works alone in flagrant defiance of direct orders from FFBI Director MEW that she take on and actually keep an inventor partner, per protocol. (She’s just returned her 16th.) Her 17th inventor, Oscar Fishgerald Gold, a genius goldfish with special mobile breathing apparatus, appears on Ophelia’s doorstep just in time to uncover a plot hatched by her archnemesis—and unibrowed cousin—Pierre to keep Ophelia from competing in the Fifth Annual Purr-fect Heist Competition (which she always wins). Can Ophelia best her creepy cousin while avoiding Central Canine Intelligence Agency operatives? And what’s she to do about this persistent fishy friend? Kent’s series kickoff is a silly riot. Classy bad girl Ophelia is as funny as she is furry (though she’s not too bad: FFBI agents rarely keep the sparkly they swipe…it’s the thrill of the heist!). Hooson’s cartoon illustrations and many in-line comic-strip pages are just the ticket to keep pages turning and prompt calls for sequels.

She’s the pussycat love child of James Bond and Zsa Zsa Gabor, and who can’t love that? (Fantasy. 7-11)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-250-14343-3

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Imprint

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2018

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Thought-provoking and charming.

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THE WILD ROBOT

A sophisticated robot—with the capacity to use senses of sight, hearing, and smell—is washed to shore on an island, the only robot survivor of a cargo of 500.

When otters play with her protective packaging, the robot is accidently activated. Roz, though without emotions, is intelligent and versatile. She can observe and learn in service of both her survival and her principle function: to help. Brown links these basic functions to the kind of evolution Roz undergoes as she figures out how to stay dry and intact in her wild environment—not easy, with pine cones and poop dropping from above, stormy weather, and a family of cranky bears. She learns to understand and eventually speak the language of the wild creatures (each species with its different “accent”). An accident leaves her the sole protector of a baby goose, and Roz must ask other creatures for help to shelter and feed the gosling. Roz’s growing connection with her environment is sweetly funny, reminiscent of Randall Jarrell’s The Animal Family. At every moment Roz’s actions seem plausible and logical yet surprisingly full of something like feeling. Robot hunters with guns figure into the climax of the story as the outside world intrudes. While the end to Roz’s benign and wild life is startling and violent, Brown leaves Roz and her companions—and readers—with hope.

Thought-provoking and charming. (Science fiction/fantasy. 7-11)

Pub Date: April 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-316-38199-4

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2016

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We challenge anyone to read this and keep a straight face.

THE BAD GUYS

From the Bad Guys series , Vol. 1

Four misunderstood villains endeavor to turn over a new leaf…or a new rap sheet in Blabey's frenzied romp.

As readers open the first page of this early chapter book, Mr. Wolf is right there to greet them, bemoaning his reputation. "Just because I've got BIG POINTY TEETH and RAZOR-SHARP CLAWS and I occasionally like to dress up like an OLD LADY, that doesn't mean… / … I'm a BAD GUY." To prove this very fact, Mr. Wolf enlists three equally slandered friends into the Good Guys Club: Mr. Snake (aka the Chicken Swallower), Mr. Piranha (aka the Butt Biter), and Mr. Shark (aka Jaws). After some convincing from Mr. Wolf, the foursome sets off determined to un-smirch their names (and reluctantly curbing their appetites). Although these predators find that not everyone is ready to be at the receiving end of their helpful efforts, they use all their Bad Guy know-how to manage a few hilarious good deeds. Blabey has hit the proverbial nail on the head, kissed it full on the mouth, and handed it a stick of Acme dynamite. With illustrations that startle in their manic comedy and deadpan direct address and with a narrative that follows four endearingly sardonic characters trying to push past (sometimes successfully) their fear-causing natures, this book instantly joins the classic ranks of Captain Underpants and The Stinky Cheese Man.

We challenge anyone to read this and keep a straight face. (Fiction. 7-11)

Pub Date: Jan. 3, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-545-91240-2

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2016

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