HORACE SPLATTLY

THE CUPCAKED CRUSADER #1

Watch out, Captain Underpants, there’s a new superhero on the scene. After his domineering little sister Melody persuades him to sample two gross-looking homemade cupcakes, diminutive fifth-grader Horace discovers that he can fly, and breathe fire to boot. These powers eventually wear off, but not before Horace has time to get used to the dorky purple outfit Melody whips up for him, to take an aerial tour of Blootinville, and after rescuing heartthrob Sara Willow from an oncoming tricycle, to snatch Principal Nosair from the belly of a giant, carnivorous guinea pig created by malicious science teacher Norman Dienow. Though the illustrations are relatively sparse, Gott’s pop-eyed, rubbery-looking figures capture the general sense of goofiness perfectly. Horace returns to save the world from a hypnotist peddling canned Snoodles and Cheaze (“contains over one thousand chemicals, twenty nine preservatives and six kinds of plastic . . .”), as well as to make his own special cupcakes, in Episode #2: When Second Graders Attack (ISBN: 0-525-46866-8, paper: 0-14-230118-3). Necessarily resourceful, since he never knows what temporary super-power the next cupcake will bring, this caped crusader rises hilariously to meet each challenge. Bad guys better stay away from Blootinville from now on—but you know they won’t. (Fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: May 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-525-46763-7

Page Count: 144

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2002

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EAGLE SONG

A rare venture into contemporary fiction for Bruchac (The Circle of Thanks, p. 1529, etc.), this disappointing tale of a young Mohawk transplanted to Brooklyn, N.Y., is overstuffed with plotlines, lectures, and cultural information. Danny Bigtree gets jeers, or the cold shoulder, from his fourth-grade classmates, until his ironworker father sits him down to relate—at length- -the story of the great Mohawk peacemaker Aionwahta (Hiawatha), then comes to school to talk about the Iroquois Confederacy and its influence on our country's Founding Fathers. Later, Danny's refusal to tattle when Tyrone, the worst of his tormenters, accidentally hits him in the face with a basketball breaks the ice for good. Two sketchy subplots: Danny runs into an old Seminole friend, who, evidently due to parental neglect, has joined a gang; after dreaming of an eagle falling from a tree, Danny learns that his father has been injured in a construction- site accident. A worthy, well-written novella—but readers cannot be moved by a story that pulls them in so many different directions. (Fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: March 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-8037-1918-3

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 1996

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The book is a cute, but rather standard offering from Avi (Tom, Babette, and Simon, p. 776, etc.).

POPPY

From the Poppy series , Vol. 3

An adolescent mouse named Poppy is off on a romantic tryst with her rebel boyfriend when they are attacked by Mr. Ocax, the owl who rules over the area.

He kills the boyfriend, but Poppy escapes and Mr. Ocax vows to catch her. Mr. Ocax has convinced all the mice that he is their protector when, in fact, he preys on them mercilessly. When the mice ask his permission to move to a new house, he refuses, blaming Poppy for his decision. Poppy suspects that there is another reason Mr. Ocax doesn't want them to move and investigates to clear her name. With the help of a prickly old porcupine and her quick wits, Poppy defeats her nemesis and her own fears, saving her family in the bargain. 

The book is a cute, but rather standard offering from Avi (Tom, Babette, and Simon, p. 776, etc.). (Fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-531-09483-9

Page Count: 147

Publisher: Orchard

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1995

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