As fizzy and zippy as a Saturday-morning cartoon.



When objects begin speaking to him, Bill realizes that now he doesn’t own his stuff: His stuff owns him.

Awakened from a dream by the fart of his alarm clock, Bill, a talking white duck, experiences a moment of strange awareness when he enters his bathroom and his toilet tells him, “Forget it. Not today, Bill,” and declares its showbiz ambitions. From then on, he is enveloped in an endless litany he hears from every object within earshot, including a jar of peanut butter, salt-and-pepper shakers, a blanket, and a baseball hat, all of whom needle Bill constantly. Overcome and exhausted by the unrelenting chatter, Bill decides to move to the forest and live in nature, where he befriends a den of musically ambitious red-and-yellow–striped snakes. When the internet (depicted as a satellite in a pink cowboy hat) decides to quit, only Bill and his quirky powers can save the day and bring the world back online. Benton’s lively and outrageously imaginative graphic novel feels like a sugar rush manifested into comic panels, with its fast pacing and big, bright, simple cartoons. Suffused with ample humor—both general silliness and slapstick—this will resonate with those who like their humor in abundance alongside a hearty dose of weirdness. Bill’s world is populated by an array of anthropomorphic animals, including a duck, a pig, a bear, and a surly cat (wearing a purple T-shirt that says, “Poo,” of course).

As fizzy and zippy as a Saturday-morning cartoon. (Graphic fantasy. 7-12)

Pub Date: May 26, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5458-0498-8

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Papercutz

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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An apocalyptic adventure with a whole lot of heart.


From the Last Kids on Earth series , Vol. 2

Thirteen-year-old Jack Sullivan and his crew of monster-fighting besties are fresh off their victorious battle against the evil Blarg, but there’s no rest for the weary in the middle of a Monster Apocalypse.

First, Joe’s Pizza has become the local monster hangout. And second, the zombies seem to be disappearing. Thankfully, the white boy, his not-so-secret Latina love, June Del Toro, his African-American, science-nerd best friend, Quint, and pre-apocalypse bully–turned-ally Dirk, a large white boy who loves to garden, befriend a man-monster who might have the answers to everything. Equal parts humor, adventure, and warmth, the book offers fans of the series and new readers alike an entirely agreeable outing. Jack’s witty narration and Holgate’s pitch-perfect illustrations make for a terrific read that’s particularly well suited for middle-grade boys who might otherwise be reluctant to pick up a book. There are plenty of foul-smelling, brain-sucking monsters and gizmos and gadgets to delight, but at its core, this is a story about friendship. Orphaned at birth and raised by a foster family he describes as jerks, Jack has always longed for a family of his own. Now that he has one, the only thing scarier than the monsters is the thought of losing them.

An apocalyptic adventure with a whole lot of heart. (Horror. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-670-01662-4

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016

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Native readers will see themselves as necessary heroes while readers of all walks will want to be their accomplices.


A Diné teen teams up with her younger brother and her best friend to battle monsters threatening their world.

After seventh grader Nizhoni Begay senses a monster lurking in the stands during her basketball game, she tells her younger brother, Mac. When the monster kidnaps her father as part of a multilayered plot to lure her brother—the only one who knows her monster-spotting abilities—into servitude, kill her, and destroy the world, Nizhoni seeks help from her biracial best friend, Davery, whose mother is African American, his father, Diné. Aided by Mr. Yazzie, a stuffed horned-toad toy that can talk, and a cast of characters from Diné culture, the three kids embark on an adventurous trek to free Dad and stop the monsters. But even with powers inherited from monster-slaying ancestors, assistance from Holy People, and weapons fashioned from the Sun, Nizhoni will need to believe in herself while sacrificing what’s most important if she hopes to succeed. Fans of Hugo and Nebula winner Roanhorse (Ohkay Owingeh) will appreciate her fast-paced prose, page-turning chapter endings, and, most of all, strong female protagonist. By reimagining a traditional story in a contemporary context, populating it with faceted Native characters, and centering it on and around the Navajo Nation, Roanhorse shows that Native stories are active and alive.

Native readers will see themselves as necessary heroes while readers of all walks will want to be their accomplices. (glossary of Navajo terms, author’s note) (Fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: Jan. 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-368-02466-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Rick Riordan Presents/Disney

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019

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