With rampant whimsy and cheerful silliness, expect this to hit funny bones with laser accuracy.

LASER MOOSE AND RABBIT BOY

A moose that can shoot laser beams out his eyes—what could be better?

The titular moose (whose abnormal ocular powers are never explained) and his gentle rabbit friend live together in a charming pastoral wood. However, Laser Moose knows that danger can lurk around every tree. In action-filled, largely wordless sequences, the pair battle flower-chomping extraterrestrials; the fearsome blue mutant Aquabear; and the mechanically equipped, destruction-bent Mechasquirrel created by the nefarious Cyborgupine. Playing off their differences, Laser Moose and Rabbit Boy make a wonderfully droll team; Laser Moose is suspicious of everything and prefers to shoot first (which has some unfortunate ramifications for some of his forest brethren), while Rabbit Boy is optimistic and unfalteringly upbeat. Throughout their exploits, the pair holds fast to their archetypes, giving this the peppy feel of animated cartoons. Big, bright panels with simple, line-based, flat illustrations rocket their adventures along as they battle their foes, keeping attention focused on the action. Savage includes an additional vignette about how lasers work. With this appealing yet oddball premise, a lovably bizarre cast of characters, and high visual allure, this should be an easy sell for young readers.

With rampant whimsy and cheerful silliness, expect this to hit funny bones with laser accuracy. (Graphic science fiction. 7-11)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4494-7094-4

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 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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Silly and inventive fast-paced fun

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INVESTIGATORS

From the InvestiGators series , Vol. 1

A zippy graphic-novel series opener featuring two comically bumbling reptile detectives.

As agents of SUIT (Special Undercover Investigation Team) with customized VESTs (Very Exciting Spy Technology) boasting the latest gadgetry, the bright green InvestiGators Mango and Brash receive their newest assignment. The reptilian duo must go undercover at the Batter Down bakery to find missing mustachioed Chef Gustavo and his secret recipes. Before long, the pair find themselves embroiled in a strange and busy plot with a scientist chicken, a rabid were-helicopter, an escape-artist dinosaur, and radioactive cracker dough. Despite the great number of disparate threads, Green manages to tie up most neatly, leaving just enough intrigue for subsequent adventures. Nearly every panel has a joke, including puns (“gator done!”), poop jokes, and pop-culture references (eagle-eyed older readers will certainly pick up on the 1980s song references), promising to make even the most stone-faced readers dissolve into giggles. Green’s art is as vibrant as an overturned box of crayons and as highly spirited as a Saturday-morning cartoon. Fast pacing and imaginative plotting (smattered with an explosion here, a dance number there) propel the action through a whimsical world in which a diverse cast of humans live alongside anthropomorphized reptiles and dinosaurs. With its rampant good-natured goofiness and its unrelenting fizz and pep, this feels like a sugar rush manifested as a graphic novel.

Silly and inventive fast-paced fun . (Graphic fantasy. 7-10)

Pub Date: Feb. 25, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-21995-4

Page Count: 208

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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