From the Pet Rescue Adventures series

A pair of twins has a scary adventure with their new puppy.

Readers primed by the title to think this book will be about an abandoned puppy rescued through adoption will quickly readjust their expectations when they learn that cocker spaniel Cooper was purchased from a breeder and will then spend the next 80 pages wondering when the rescue might occur. Since these 80 pages are almost completely devoid of excitement, they will be forgiven their increasing skepticism. Alex and Becky, white 9-year-old twins, are exemplary pet owners. They take Cooper to obedience school, they refrain from leash walking Cooper till he’s 5 months old, they never take him off the leash outside the backyard. This tedious adherence to best practices extends to the rest of their lives: when they go on a beach vacation, they wear sunscreen, wait after they’ve eaten before swimming, and stay in the shallows. “Careful” and “carefully” are their watchwords. The only thing these two goody-goodies do that’s even slightly interesting is bicker, which is how they happen to drop the leash next to a cliff edge, at last setting into motion the calamity that leads to the titular rescue—effected by the Coast Guard, because doing it themselves would, of course, be unsafe. Publishing simultaneously are Sammy the Shy Kitten, The Secret Kitten, and The Tiniest Puppy.

Thoroughly bloodless . (Fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-68010-402-8

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Jan. 31, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

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Dizzyingly silly.


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 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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Having put together a band with renowned cousin Duck Ellington and singer “Bee” Holiday, Rooster’s chances sure look...


Winning actually isn’t everything, as jazz-happy Rooster learns when he goes up against the legendary likes of Mules Davis and Ella Finchgerald at the barnyard talent show.

Having put together a band with renowned cousin Duck Ellington and singer “Bee” Holiday, Rooster’s chances sure look good—particularly after his “ ‘Hen from Ipanema’ [makes] / the barnyard chickies swoon.”—but in the end the competition is just too stiff. No matter: A compliment from cool Mules and the conviction that he still has the world’s best band soon puts the strut back in his stride. Alexander’s versifying isn’t always in tune (“So, he went to see his cousin, / a pianist of great fame…”), and despite his moniker Rooster plays an electric bass in Bower’s canted country scenes. Children are unlikely to get most of the jokes liberally sprinkled through the text, of course, so the adults sharing it with them should be ready to consult the backmatter, which consists of closing notes on jazz’s instruments, history and best-known musicians.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-58536-688-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press

Review Posted Online: July 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2011

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