From the Captain Raptor series , Vol. 3

Kudos to this prehistoric Buzz Lightyear…long may he sail the spaceways.

The space-roving dinosaur and his scaly crew return at last for another awesome rescue mission.

Jam-packed with near disasters, death-defying feats, and gleefully melodramatic art, this latest adventure (over 10 long years since Captain Raptor and the Space Pirates!) sends the mighty spaceship Megatooth hurtling toward Pyros Prime, where a small band of research scientists is threatened by the imminent eruption of supervolcano Mount Bleak. To the oft-repeated chorus of “Could this be the end of Captain Raptor?” the doughty dino roars down to a rough landing, weathers attacks from both a humongous Cobrasaurus and a swooping Vulturous, crosses a lambent lake of lava to snatch the beleaguered scientists (meek mammals all), and rejoins his shipmates to rocket off in the nick of time, blasting through a shower of falling asteroids just as all Pyros Prime bursts apart in a titanic explosion. “Never a dull moment,” says he, as news of an unspecified catastrophe on distant Seti Beta Six sets the stage for a fresh set of epic exploits. “Onward to the stars!” In the squared-off, lavishly detailed scenes, outsized monsters and laser-wielding warriors in riveted body armor battle through murky landscapes and caverns lit from below by glowing lava.

Kudos to this prehistoric Buzz Lightyear…long may he sail the spaceways. (Graphic picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-58089-809-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2018

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From the Dog Man series , Vol. 1

What a wag.

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What do you get from sewing the head of a smart dog onto the body of a tough police officer? A new superhero from the incorrigible creator of Captain Underpants.

Finding a stack of old Dog Mancomics that got them in trouble back in first grade, George and Harold decide to craft a set of new(ish) adventures with (more or less) improved art and spelling. These begin with an origin tale (“A Hero Is Unleashed”), go on to a fiendish attempt to replace the chief of police with a “Robo Chief” and then a temporarily successful scheme to make everyone stupid by erasing all the words from every book (“Book ’Em, Dog Man”), and finish off with a sort of attempted alien invasion evocatively titled “Weenie Wars: The Franks Awaken.” In each, Dog Man squares off against baddies (including superinventor/archnemesis Petey the cat) and saves the day with a clever notion. With occasional pauses for Flip-O-Rama featurettes, the tales are all framed in brightly colored sequential panels with hand-lettered dialogue (“How do you feel, old friend?” “Ruff!”) and narrative. The figures are studiously diverse, with police officers of both genders on view and George, the chief, and several other members of the supporting cast colored in various shades of brown. Pilkey closes as customary with drawing exercises, plus a promise that the canine crusader will be further unleashed in a sequel.

What a wag. (Graphic fantasy. 7-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-545-58160-8

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 31, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016


Taking a seat in first class aboard the graphic-novels-for-preteens train, this import features a carrot-topped lass who travels the starways with her piratical uncle Yellow Shoulders, foiling the plots of Supermuscleman, nefarious Chief Executive Dictator of the Universe. Presented in small sequential panels of brightly hued cartoon art and spacious dialogue balloons, Sardine’s adventures take her from the space prison Azkatraz to Planet Discoball (for a dance contest presided over by Empress Laser Diskette and her offspring, Prince Beejeez), from encounters with deadly, as well as thoroughly nerve-wracking, Honkfish to a deliciously violent round of “No-Child-Left-Behind-School II,” a virtual game. With nonstop action, humor geared to multiple levels of cultural awareness and the promise of more episodes to come, even readers stubbornly resisting the trendy format’s lure will find that, as Supermuscleman sneers shortly before gorily blasting his own foot, “Resistance is futile.” (Graphic novel. 7-9)

Pub Date: May 1, 2006

ISBN: 1-59643-126-1

Page Count: 128

Publisher: First Second/Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2006

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