This story neatly celebrates the everyday life experiences of a diverse family and the magic of togetherness in the face of...

MASTERPIECE ROBOT

AND THE FEROCIOUS VALERIE KNICK KNACK!

Comic-book action, an innocent backyard, and four siblings with wild imaginations combine to create an adventurous afternoon.

A girl of mixed Asian/white descent named Laura heads out into the front yard with her little sister, Molly, to help rake leaves. But Laura has a secret identity—Masterpiece Robot—and so do her siblings. To them, the outside world offers exciting perils and the potential for adventure. Each vivid, dynamically illustrated spread splits into comic-book panels that alternate between brightly colored reality and a somber comic-book world in which Masterpiece Robot and Sidekick (Molly) battle the Ferocious Valerie Knick-Knack, an older sister, with the help of their brother, Lord MekMek. The children crash and smash through piles of leaves in a sci-fi battle with spaceships, blasters, and robot parts as our heroes try to save the world. Humorous text, split between dialogue and narrative in a manner typical of comic books, asks, “Will the world as we know it become forever shrouded in despair, misery, early bedtimes, and extra servings of vegetables?” Family, imagination, and the endless possibilities of outdoor play intersect at the core of this lively, memorable story, written by a Vietnamese-American graphic novelist.

This story neatly celebrates the everyday life experiences of a diverse family and the magic of togetherness in the face of all kinds of adventure . (Graphic fiction. 7-11)

Pub Date: April 3, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-88448-518-6

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Tilbury House

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2018

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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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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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