Most grown-ups will hate this, butt that’s half the fun.


First contact is exciting…but what if the ETs are real buttheads?

Lloyd and Josh start a blog, The Peaceful Extraterrestrial’s Guide to Earth, to invite aliens to Earth, explaining such topics of Earth culture as games, being sick, holidays, old ladies, and bathrooms. When two actual aliens with butts where their heads should be and faces on their rears answer the call, life gets complicated. IAmAWeenieBurger speaks English, but Doodoofartmama communicates only by farting; the species has 142 excretory functions. They claim that they are on Earth to meet Josh and Lloyd, play video games, and help the boys get the better of Quentin, a big, conceited jerk in their class who excels at everything. Naturally, that’s not all. When threatened with exposure, the smelly aliens (who’ve already gotten the boys in a pile of trouble) send out a fart-call to 70 billion of their butthead buddies to join an invasion. Can Josh and Lloyd save every human on Earth from menial (and repulsive) servitude? Mahoney’s over-the-top romp, with footnoted blog posts that appear at the rear, will cause giggle and snicker overload in its target audience. Josh narrates in a believably snarky 12-year-old voice, and he, Lloyd, and their classmates all come across as real kids with real-kid senses of humor. Race goes unmentioned, but the cover illustration indicates that one boy presents black and the other white.

Most grown-ups will hate this, butt that’s half the fun. (Science fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: March 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5107-3261-2

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Sky Pony Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

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Is this the end? Well, no…the series will stagger on through at least one more scheduled sequel.


From the Captain Underpants series , Vol. 9

Sure signs that the creative wells are running dry at last, the Captain’s ninth, overstuffed outing both recycles a villain (see Book 4) and offers trendy anti-bullying wish fulfillment.

Not that there aren’t pranks and envelope-pushing quips aplenty. To start, in an alternate ending to the previous episode, Principal Krupp ends up in prison (“…a lot like being a student at Jerome Horwitz Elementary School, except that the prison had better funding”). There, he witnesses fellow inmate Tippy Tinkletrousers (aka Professor Poopypants) escape in a giant Robo-Suit (later reduced to time-traveling trousers). The villain sets off after George and Harold, who are in juvie (“not much different from our old school…except that they have library books here.”). Cut to five years previous, in a prequel to the whole series. George and Harold link up in kindergarten to reduce a quartet of vicious bullies to giggling insanity with a relentless series of pranks involving shaving cream, spiders, effeminate spoof text messages and friendship bracelets. Pilkey tucks both topical jokes and bathroom humor into the cartoon art, and ups the narrative’s lexical ante with terms like “pharmaceuticals” and “theatrical flair.” Unfortunately, the bullies’ sad fates force Krupp to resign, so he’s not around to save the Earth from being destroyed later on by Talking Toilets and other invaders…

Is this the end? Well, no…the series will stagger on through at least one more scheduled sequel. (Fantasy. 10-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-545-17534-0

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 20, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2012

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A-mew-sing fare for readers who sometimes feel like fraidycats themselves.


Two shelter cats take on a mysterious puss with weird powers who is terrorizing the feline community.

Hardly have timorous (and aptly named) Poop and her sophisticated buddy, Pasha, been brought home by their new “human beans” for a two-week trial than they are accosted by fiery-eyed Scaredy Cat, utterly trashing the kitchen with a click of his claws and, hissing that he’s in charge of the neighborhood, threatening that if they don’t act like proper cats—disdaining ordinary cat food and any summons (they are not dogs, after all), clawing the furniture instead of the scratching post, and showing like “cattitude”—it’ll be back to the shelter for them. Will Poop and Pasha prove to be fraidycats or flee to the cowed clowder of homeless cats hiding from the bully in the nearby woods? Nope, they are made of sterner stuff and resolutely set out to enlist feline allies in a “quest for life, liberty, and the pursuit of purrs!” Cast into a gazillion very short chapters related by furry narrators Poop and Pasha, who are helpfully depicted in portrait vignettes by Herzog at each chapter’s head, the ensuing adventures test the defiant kitties’ courage (and, in some cases, attention spans) on the way to a spooky but poignant climax set, appropriately enough as it happens, in a pet graveyard.

A-mew-sing fare for readers who sometimes feel like fraidycats themselves. (Adventure. 9-11)

Pub Date: March 15, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-316-49443-4

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Jimmy Patterson/Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

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