Lighter-than-air superhero fun.

DINOS ARE FOREVER

From the Adventures of Jo Schmo series , Vol. 1

The wacky origin story of a fourth-grade girl superhero from the author of the Melvin Beederman, Superhero series.

Jo Schmo's normal life of skateboards and crushes is cast aside with the arrival of a mysterious package from her Uncle George (who is actually her mother's second cousin, once removed on account of being stinky). Ready to retire from his life as a superhero, Uncle George bequeaths his cape to Jo so that she may take up the calling. But she's a little girl, and the cape is too long—the piece Grandpa Joe cuts off makes a perfect cape for her loyal dog and now sidekick, Raymond. The cape gives the duo superpowers—strength for Jo and heroic amounts of drool for Raymond. Luckily, Jo has a capable mentor in Grandpa Joe, a retired sheriff. But soon they must face the mad scientist, super-villain Dr. Dastardly, and his latest invention for evil: the Re-animator Laminator. The zany writing wavers between slapstick and tongue-in-cheek. The edge is taking off the fighting part of crime-fighting through silly attack names like "Russian Toe Hold" and "Siberian Ear Tweak." Dormer's movement-oriented illustrations complement the fast pace of the story and suit the comical tone, as well.

Lighter-than-air superhero fun. (Adventure. 6-9)

Pub Date: July 3, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-547-76341-5

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: April 25, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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A story of friendship that is both lively and lovely

KONDO & KEZUMI VISIT GIANT ISLAND

From the Kondo & Kezumi series , Vol. 1

Two friends embark upon a high-seas adventure.

Kondo, a large lemon-colored creature with wide round eyes, spends his day on his island home with his best friend, tangerine-hued Kezumi. Together, they frolic on their idyllic isle picking berries (tall Kondo nabs the higher fruit while Kezumi helps to retrieve the lower) while surrounded by tiny “flitter-birds” and round “fluffle-bunnies.” One day, Kezumi finds a map in a bottle that declares “WE ARE NOT ALONE.” Inspired by visions of a larger world, Kondo and Kezumi fashion a boat from a bathtub and set sail. The pair visits fantastical islands—deliciously cheese-laden Dairy Isle, the fiery and fearsome Fireskull Island—until they eventually settle upon the titular Giant Island, where they meet Albert, a gigantic gray talking mountain who is—obviously—unable to leave. Enthralled by his new friends, Albert wants them to stay forever. After Albert makes a fraught decision, Kondo and Kezumi find themselves at a crossroads and must confront their new friend. Goodner and Tsurumi’s brightly illustrated chapter book should find favor with fans of Kate DiCamillo and Chris Van Dusen’s similarly designed Mercy Watson series. Short, wry, descriptive sentences make for an equally enjoyable experience whether read aloud or independently. Episodic chapters move the action along jauntily; the conclusion is somewhat abrupt, but it promises more exploration and adventures for the best friends. (This review was originally published in the June 1, 2019, issue. The book data has been updated to reflect changes in publisher and date of publication.)

A story of friendship that is both lively and lovely (Fantasy. 6-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 27, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-368-02577-5

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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A nifty high-seas caper for chapter-book readers with a love of adventure and a yearning for treasure.

THE PIRATE PIG

It’s not truffles but doubloons that tickle this porcine wayfarer’s fancy.

Funke and Meyer make another foray into chapter-book fare after Emma and the Blue Genie (2014). Here, mariner Stout Sam and deckhand Pip eke out a comfortable existence on Butterfly Island ferrying cargo to and fro. Life is good, but it takes an unexpected turn when a barrel washes ashore containing a pig with a skull-and-crossbones pendant around her neck. It soon becomes clear that this little piggy, dubbed Julie, has the ability to sniff out treasure—lots of it—in the sea. The duo is pleased with her skills, but pride goeth before the hog. Stout Sam hands out some baubles to the local children, and his largess attracts the unwanted attention of Barracuda Bill and his nasty minions. Now they’ve pignapped Julie, and it’s up to the intrepid sailors to save the porker and their own bacon. The succinct word count meets the needs of kids looking for early adventure fare. The tale is slight, bouncy, and amusing, though Julie is never the piratical buccaneer the book’s cover seems to suggest. Meanwhile, Meyer’s cheery watercolors are as comfortable diagramming the different parts of a pirate vessel as they are rendering the dread pirate captain himself.

A nifty high-seas caper for chapter-book readers with a love of adventure and a yearning for treasure. (Adventure. 7-9)

Pub Date: June 23, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-37544-3

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2015

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