Orphans Alanna and Hamel have learned to fend for themselves and survive on the earnings from Hamel’s meager blacksmithing...

READ REVIEW

DRAGON GIRL

THE SECRET VALLEY

From the Dragon Girl series , Vol. 1

In a fantasy land where dragons are hunted and prized as prey, Alanna, a strong and kind young girl, finds and vows to protect a dragon nest at the expense of all else.

Orphans Alanna and Hamel have learned to fend for themselves and survive on the earnings from Hamel’s meager blacksmithing skills and by foraging and hunting for food. One day in the forest, Alanna discovers a cave filled with baby dragons and unhatched dragon eggs. She tries to hide her newfound knowledge from Hamel, who longs to become a knight, but he learns her secret and betrays her. Alanna, who had made herself a dragon costume to act as mother to the new babies, now finds herself living among the dragons in their hidden valley. When Hamel and a disreputable knight named Sir Cedric discover her whereabouts, Alanna must decide to save herself and Hamel or the dragons. Weigel has created a compulsively likable heroine who seamlessly blends her strength and compassion, reminiscent of Ben Hatke’s Zita the Spacegirl. With lovable dragons, flying ships and danger around every corner, this delightful fantasy doesn’t disappoint .

Get this charmer into the hands of fans of Jeff Smith’s Bone series and its spinoffs. (Graphic fantasy. 7-11)

Pub Date: June 3, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4494-4183-8

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Andrews McMeel

Review Posted Online: April 30, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

We challenge anyone to read this and keep a straight face.

THE BAD GUYS

From the Bad Guys series , Vol. 1

Four misunderstood villains endeavor to turn over a new leaf…or a new rap sheet in Blabey's frenzied romp.

As readers open the first page of this early chapter book, Mr. Wolf is right there to greet them, bemoaning his reputation. "Just because I've got BIG POINTY TEETH and RAZOR-SHARP CLAWS and I occasionally like to dress up like an OLD LADY, that doesn't mean… / … I'm a BAD GUY." To prove this very fact, Mr. Wolf enlists three equally slandered friends into the Good Guys Club: Mr. Snake (aka the Chicken Swallower), Mr. Piranha (aka the Butt Biter), and Mr. Shark (aka Jaws). After some convincing from Mr. Wolf, the foursome sets off determined to un-smirch their names (and reluctantly curbing their appetites). Although these predators find that not everyone is ready to be at the receiving end of their helpful efforts, they use all their Bad Guy know-how to manage a few hilarious good deeds. Blabey has hit the proverbial nail on the head, kissed it full on the mouth, and handed it a stick of Acme dynamite. With illustrations that startle in their manic comedy and deadpan direct address and with a narrative that follows four endearingly sardonic characters trying to push past (sometimes successfully) their fear-causing natures, this book instantly joins the classic ranks of Captain Underpants and The Stinky Cheese Man.

We challenge anyone to read this and keep a straight face. (Fiction. 7-11)

Pub Date: Jan. 3, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-545-91240-2

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Another uproarious romp that explores what it is to be good as well as do good.

THE BAD GUYS IN MISSION UNPLUCKABLE

From the Bad Guys series , Vol. 2

The foursome of reformed villains returns with a new mission and new team member in a continued effort to repair their reputations in Blabey's (The Bad Guys, 2017) rollicking sequel.

This second installment opens with our would-be heroes, Mr. Wolf, Mr. Snake, Mr. Shark, and Mr. Piranha, fresh from their bold liberation of the local pound, finding that the media is not spinning in their favor. Accused of terrorizing rather than rescuing, the group (at least Mr. Wolf) refuses to admit defeat—"We're the GOOD GUYS here!"—and begins planning a new mission to free innocent chickens from their deplorable confinement in the Sunnyside Chicken Farm. But if the team can't work together—something all the more difficult with the team a little panicked by the addition of Legs (a friendly, tech-genius tarantula) and one of the group suspiciously excited to greet the chickens—a rescue mission may be all but impossible. Despite some language devaluing of mental diversity (“freak out,” “loco,” etc.) that may turn some readers off, Blabey once again deploys moral ambiguity to overall success, challenging fear as a justification for prejudice and mistakes as reasons to give up. The narrative has lost no comic momentum from first to second book, juxtaposing classic riffs on Mission Impossible and new visual gags unique to these delightfully wry characters.

Another uproarious romp that explores what it is to be good as well as do good. (Fiction. 7-11)

Pub Date: Feb. 28, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-545-91241-9

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more