Fun for feline fanatics and light sci-fi lovers.




From the Klawde series , Vol. 1

Wyss-Kuzz was such an evil warlord his feline people rose up and dusted off an ancient punishment: exile via teleporter to the most awful place in the cosmos, Earth.

Raj Bannerjee, soon-to-be sixth-grader, has been exiled from his beloved Brooklyn to Elba, Oregon, which is creepily full of nature. Unbeknownst to the Bannerjees, an alien has been banished to their front yard. Wyss-Kuzz, terrified of the liquid falling from the sky, seeks shelter in one of the fortresses inhabited by furless ogres who are so stupid they can’t understand his feline language (or recognize his vast superiority). Raj has always wanted a cat and promises to go to survival camp if he can keep Klawde, as his clueless father’s renamed the alien warlord. Can Raj survive survival camp? Can Wyss-Kuzz bend these disgusting primitives to his will and get them to build him a transporter so he can exact revenge on his home planet? Earth cats are imbeciles, but a mind-meld can conquer the language barrier with humans…but that may cause more troubles than it solves. Wyss-Kuzz and Raj trade off narration duties in Marciano and Chenoweth’s first of four hissterical interstellar adventures. Wyss-Kuzz’s constant misinterpretation of things earthly and Raj’s goofy new friends and enemies at camp will hook even reluctant readers. Mommaerts’s two-color, cartoon illustrations add more laughs as well as such background details as the Banerjees’ Ganesha to confirm their South Asian heritage. Sequel Enemies publishes simultaneously.

Fun for feline fanatics and light sci-fi lovers. (Science fiction. 7-11)

Pub Date: Feb. 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-8720-2

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2018

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


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

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Thought-provoking and charming.

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A sophisticated robot—with the capacity to use senses of sight, hearing, and smell—is washed to shore on an island, the only robot survivor of a cargo of 500.

When otters play with her protective packaging, the robot is accidently activated. Roz, though without emotions, is intelligent and versatile. She can observe and learn in service of both her survival and her principle function: to help. Brown links these basic functions to the kind of evolution Roz undergoes as she figures out how to stay dry and intact in her wild environment—not easy, with pine cones and poop dropping from above, stormy weather, and a family of cranky bears. She learns to understand and eventually speak the language of the wild creatures (each species with its different “accent”). An accident leaves her the sole protector of a baby goose, and Roz must ask other creatures for help to shelter and feed the gosling. Roz’s growing connection with her environment is sweetly funny, reminiscent of Randall Jarrell’s The Animal Family. At every moment Roz’s actions seem plausible and logical yet surprisingly full of something like feeling. Robot hunters with guns figure into the climax of the story as the outside world intrudes. While the end to Roz’s benign and wild life is startling and violent, Brown leaves Roz and her companions—and readers—with hope.

Thought-provoking and charming. (Science fiction/fantasy. 7-11)

Pub Date: April 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-316-38199-4

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2016

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