Skates by without landing any impressive tricks.

GERONIMO ON ICE!

From the Geronimo Stilton series , Vol. 71

When Geronimo Stilton must go undercover in a figure-skating competition to stop a thief, there’s just one little problem: He doesn’t know how to skate.

Everyone’s trying to guess who will win a special prize in the couples category of the Mouse Island Ice Skating Championships: Will it be Lobelia Tutu, or perhaps the mysterious Masked Skaters, or maybe Anastasia Goudanov, the great-great-great-niece of Olga Goudanov, whose legendary ice skates, gifted to her by Czar Mousoloff of Mousekow, are the contest’s prize? Amping the excitement is the possibility that the prize skates hold a clue to a hidden treasure. After Geronimo accidentally uncovers the identities of the Masked Skaters, they reveal they’re plants protecting the skates from a would-be thief. With their identities compromised, they need another investigator to step in and protect the prize—and they recruit Geronimo, despite his inability to skate. To get him ready, his friends and family recruit Lobelia to teach him so he’ll no longer be a “mozzarella” (rodent slang for rookie), and his love interest, Creepella von Cacklefur, steps in as his partner. Light, informational bits about skating bolster the plot until the competition, which is almost disastrous for Geronimo, though the resolution brings no surprises. With the hero’s distinctive personality and brightly colored text and illustrations, this book’s standard Stilton fare. Inconsistencies within the text do the series’ young enthusiasts a disservice.

Skates by without landing any impressive tricks. (Adventure. 6-10)

Pub Date: Dec. 26, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-338-30621-7

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2018

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A brisk if bland offering for series fans, but cleverer metafictive romps abound.

HOW TO CATCH A GINGERBREAD MAN

From the How To Catch… series

The titular cookie runs off the page at a bookstore storytime, pursued by young listeners and literary characters.

Following on 13 previous How To Catch… escapades, Wallace supplies sometimes-tortured doggerel and Elkerton, a set of helter-skelter cartoon scenes. Here the insouciant narrator scampers through aisles, avoiding a series of elaborate snares set by the racially diverse young storytime audience with help from some classic figures: “Alice and her mad-hat friends, / as a gift for my unbirthday, / helped guide me through the walls of shelves— / now I’m bound to find my way.” The literary helpers don’t look like their conventional or Disney counterparts in the illustrations, but all are clearly identified by at least a broad hint or visual cue, like the unnamed “wizard” who swoops in on a broom to knock over a tower labeled “Frogwarts.” Along with playing a bit fast and loose with details (“Perhaps the boy with the magic beans / saved me with his cow…”) the author discards his original’s lip-smacking climax to have the errant snack circling back at last to his book for a comfier sort of happily-ever-after.

A brisk if bland offering for series fans, but cleverer metafictive romps abound. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 3, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-7282-0935-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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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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