THE LITTLE GIRL WHO SNEEZED

A bizarre story about a little girl who reunites townspeople with their brains after an alien invasion.

After sneezing so hard her brain falls out, the unnamed heroine in this odd tale carries her brain around in a plastic bag. How does she function with an empty cranium? Her brain apparently has Bluetooth capabilities; as long as it’s close by, she can still access it (though if it gets too far out of range she suddenly becomes “very stupid”). When aliens land and begin sucking peoples’ brains out, the little girl hides her own brain in her mother’s closet, thus ensuring that she is the only person who doesn’t end up in a zombielike state. She eventually sneaks into the aliens’ spaceship, retrieves all the brains and returns them to their rightful owners. While a few of the scant interactive features are refreshingly simple and mildly engaging (that is, if readers enjoy dumping brains on a conveyer belt and vacuuming them out of peoples’ heads), overall the app is tactually unremarkable. However, the illustrations are bold, crisp and visually appealing, and navigation and functionality are top-notch. Both the music and the annoyingly slow narration can be switched off, but silencing the music unfortunately also silences all sound effects (which is a shame because they add much-needed value to the reading experience). The app will not work on an iPad 1. Unique, but definitely weird. (iPad storybook app. 7-10) 

 

Pub Date: July 13, 2012

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Jureca

Review Posted Online: Aug. 29, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2012

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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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THE LEMONADE WAR

From the Lemonade War series , Vol. 1

Told from the point of view of two warring siblings, this could have been an engaging first chapter book. Unfortunately, the length makes it less likely to appeal to the intended audience. Jessie and Evan are usually good friends as well as sister and brother. But the news that bright Jessie will be skipping a grade to join Evan’s fourth-grade class creates tension. Evan believes himself to be less than clever; Jessie’s emotional maturity doesn’t quite measure up to her intelligence. Rivalry and misunderstandings grow as the two compete to earn the most money in the waning days of summer. The plot rolls along smoothly and readers will be able to both follow the action and feel superior to both main characters as their motivations and misconceptions are clearly displayed. Indeed, a bit more subtlety in characterization might have strengthened the book’s appeal. The final resolution is not entirely believable, but the emphasis on cooperation and understanding is clear. Earnest and potentially successful, but just misses the mark. (Fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: April 23, 2007

ISBN: 0-618-75043-6

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2007

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