There’s no bones about it: young readers will get a taste of the classic in a fun and humerus way (wocka wocka).

READ REVIEW

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA

From the Muppets Meet the Classics series

The Muppets put a humorous spin on the classic tragedy The Phantom of the Opera.

The plot is much the same as the original, with Muppets filling in for the original characters. Vicomte Kermit de Chagny and Mademoiselle Piggy Daaé are the main characters and love interests in this tragic tale. As in the classic, Piggy Daaé rises as a star of the Paris Opera House due to training from an Angel of Music, who in this tale is a Koozebanian of Music from the planet Koozebane (or is he?). The main difference between this book and the classic (other than the cast) is the conglomeration of time periods, with a mix of details drawn from both the 21st and the 19th centuries. This may cause older readers mild confusion at first, but children will likely read without inhibition, as the experience of coming across names and objects they recognize and some things they may not is a familiar one. This puntastic tale is full of beloved faces, such as the grouchy pranksters Statler and Waldorf. As in many children’s stories, there is entertainment for older readers with abundant modern references, often found in footnotes, as in a tidbit about Beaker’s burial alongside Oscar Wilde, Molière, and Jim Morrison.

There’s no bones about it: young readers will get a taste of the classic in a fun and humerus way (wocka wocka). (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 17, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-451-53437-8

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2017

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Ordinary kids in an extraordinary setting: still a recipe for bright achievements and belly laughs.

WAYSIDE SCHOOL BENEATH THE CLOUD OF DOOM

Rejoice! 25 years later, Wayside School is still in session, and the children in Mrs. Jewls’ 30th-floor classroom haven’t changed a bit.

The surreal yet oddly educational nature of their misadventures hasn’t either. There are out-and-out rib ticklers, such as a spelling lesson featuring made-up words and a determined class effort to collect 1 million nail clippings. Additionally, mean queen Kathy steps through a mirror that turns her weirdly nice and she discovers that she likes it, a four-way friendship survives a dumpster dive after lost homework, and Mrs. Jewls makes sure that a long-threatened “Ultimate Test” allows every student to show off a special talent. Episodic though the 30 new chapters are, there are continuing elements that bind them—even to previous outings, such as the note to an elusive teacher Calvin has been carrying since Sideways Stories From Wayside School (1978) and finally delivers. Add to that plenty of deadpan dialogue (“Arithmetic makes my brain numb,” complains Dameon. “That’s why they’re called ‘numb-ers,’ ” explains D.J.) and a wild storm from the titular cloud that shuffles the school’s contents “like a deck of cards,” and Sachar once again dishes up a confection as scrambled and delicious as lunch lady Miss Mush’s improvised “Rainbow Stew.” Diversity is primarily conveyed in the illustrations.

Ordinary kids in an extraordinary setting: still a recipe for bright achievements and belly laughs. (Fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-296538-7

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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Pippi is an inspired creation knit from daydreams.

PIPPI LONGSTOCKING

A fresh delicious fantasy that children will love.

In the character of 9-year-old Pippi Longstocking, who was lucky to have no parents to tell her what to do, is a juvenile Robin Hood with the authority of Mammy Yokum and a Mighty Mouse. Pippi- red headed, in longstockings (one black and one brown), and the strongest girl in the world was the friend of Tommy and Annika. Calmly and ingeniously she put down the enemy forces of the adult world — with a serene efficiency. The teacher was baffled by her logic in pointing out the futility of learning arithmetic; bullies she hoisted on trees; at the circus Pippi rode bareback, walked the tightrope, and wrestled the wrestling champ; cream and sugar flowed (on the floor) when Pippi attended a ladies' coffee party where she revealed "horrid things" with the complacency of Eliza Doolittle. Champion of fun, freedom and fantasy and long happy thoughts,

Pippi is an inspired creation knit from daydreams.

Pub Date: Oct. 16, 1950

ISBN: 978-0-14-030957-7

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 1, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1950

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