The tongue-in-cheek tale goes on, with enticing hints of adventures and revelations to come.

BEWARE THE CLOPPER!

From the Witches of Benevento series , Vol. 3

In a third episode set in the (supposedly) witch-ridden Italian town, curious Maria Beppina makes a startling discovery when she stops running from the scary “Clopper.”

Interwoven with events from previous tales, Maria Beppina’s act of courage comes after her cousin Primo hands her the gold ring he has found in a fish. What she subsequently turns to face is not a fearsome monster but a friendly if eccentric old lady who wears one wooden clog and lives with a trio of odd companions. Being something of an outsider, as she and her widowed father have moved to the village from Naples, the usually resolutely honest white girl later concocts for the other children a terrifying yarn featuring a cackling witch and a cooking pot. Her guilt is sharp but short-lived, and by the end she’s going back to revisit her new friend(s). Though as usual Marciano appends a “Witchonary” and a history of the real town, he’s been cagey throughout about whether there are actual witches and demons at work—until now, at least (though he could still be having us on). Blackall supplies a map and festoons the compact-format tale with lively scenes of apple-cheeked children in dress that evokes the 1820s small-town setting.

The tongue-in-cheek tale goes on, with enticing hints of adventures and revelations to come. (Fantasy. 8-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-451-47182-6

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Dizzyingly silly.

CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS AND THE TYRANNICAL RETALIATION OF THE TURBO TOILET 2000

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 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Both cozy and inspiring, this eco-fable conveys both grim truths and a defiant call to action.

THE SILVER ARROW

The best birthday present is a magical train full of talking animals—and a new job.

On Kate’s 11th birthday, she’s surprised by the arrival of rich Uncle Herbert. Uncle Herbert bears a gift: a train. Not a toy train, a 102.36-ton steam engine, with cars that come later. When Kate and her brother, Tom, both white, play in the cab of the Silver Arrow, the train starts up, zooming to a platform packed with animals holding tickets. Thus begins Kate and Tom’s hard work: They learn to conduct the train and feed the fire box, instructed by the Silver Arrow, which speaks via printed paper tape. The Silver Arrow is a glorious playground: The library car is chockablock with books while the candy car is brimful of gobstoppers and gummy bears. But amid the excitement of whistle-blowing and train conducting, Kate and Tom learn quiet messages from their animal friends. Some species, like gray squirrels and starlings, are “invaders.” The too-thin polar bear’s train platform has melted, leaving it almost drowned. Their new calling is more than just feeding the coal box—they need to find a new balance in a damaged world. “Feeling guilty doesn’t help anything,” the mamba tells them. Humans have survived so effectively they’ve taken over the world; now, he says, “you just have to take care of it.” (Illustrations not seen.)

Both cozy and inspiring, this eco-fable conveys both grim truths and a defiant call to action. (Fantasy. 8-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-316-53953-1

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more