As the stench-loving Rancidians would say: It stinks! (Fantasy. 7-12)

READ REVIEW

HOBGOBLIN AND THE SEVEN STINKERS OF RANCIDIA

From the Hazy Fables series , Vol. 1

A “Snow White” parody—substituting smelling grossest for fairest—about taking down a tyrant.

The seven districts of Rancidia once existed in harmony, the people enjoying the blend of everyone’s individual odors and governed by democracy. This putrid peace was shattered when ogre Fiddlefart conquered Rancidia and declared himself both king and Grossest Smelling in the Land. When Fiddlefart’s magical Burping Bullfrog sees a new challenger for stinkiest—the humble Hobgoblin, a bean farmer from the neighboring Unincorporated Mucklands—the outraged ogre sends his top scent-assassin, Huntress, to scrub Hobgoblin so clean he’ll never stink again. Instead of de-odorizing Hobgoblin, Huntress whiffs him into hiding with the Seven Stinkers, the ousted elected former government of Rancidia, who invite him into the resistance. Amiable but essentially an isolationist who tries “to stay out of politics,” Hobgoblin initially takes action only for self-preservation (while Huntress warns: “Anytime a creature is treated unjustly—no matter who they are or where they’re from—it’s everyone’s business”), but the fairy-tale plot trajectory pulls him in so he can join the effort to liberate Rancidia. The bodily functions and other stinky-things–based humor amp the kid-friendliness, frequently put the “pun” in pungent, and occasionally dip into parody musical numbers and sly self-awareness. Happy, rounded, nonthreatening cartoon illustrations make Hobgoblin’s delighted tooting downright charming. Some of the Seven Stinkers are female, and one has two mothers.

As the stench-loving Rancidians would say: It stinks! (Fantasy. 7-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-948931-04-5

Page Count: 180

Publisher: Hazy Dell Press

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Classic action-packed, monster-fighting fun

THE LAST KIDS ON EARTH

From the Last Kids on Earth series , Vol. 1

It’s been 42 days since the Monster Apocalypse began, and 13-year-old Jack Sullivan, a self-proclaimed “zombie-fighting, monster-slaying tornado of cool” is on a quest to find and rescue his not-so-secret crush, June Del Toro, whether she needs it, wants it, or not.

Jack cobbles together an unlikely but endearing crew, including his scientist best friend, Quint Baker; Dirk Savage, Parker Middle School’s biggest bully; and a pet monster named Rover, to help him save the damsel in distress and complete the “ULTIMATE Feat of Apocalyptic Success.” Middle-grade readers, particularly boys, will find Jack’s pitch-perfect mix of humor, bravado, and self-professed geekiness impossible to resist. His sidekicks are equally entertaining, and it doesn’t hurt that there are also plenty of oozing, drooling, sharp-toothed monsters and zombies and a host of gizmos and gadgets to hook readers and keep them cheering with every turn of the page. Holgate’s illustrations play an integral role in the novel’s success. They not only bring Brallier’s characters to life, but also add depth and detail to the story, making plain just exactly how big Rover is and giving the lie to Jack’s “killer driving.” The marriage of text and illustration serves as a perfect example of what an illustrated novel can and should be.

Classic action-packed, monster-fighting fun (. (Graphic/horror hybrid. 8-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-670-01661-7

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: July 22, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS AND THE TERRIFYING RETURN OF TIPPY TINKLETROUSERS

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

Did you like this book?

more