From the Super Turbo series , Vol. 1

An episodic eyeful that’s abundantly cute and silly.

On an otherwise quiet snow day, a group of classroom pets discovers that there is evil afoot—or rather a-paw.

Residing in Classroom C, Super Turbo—second-grade pet by day, superhero hamster by night—keeps watch during a snow day. Feeling brave, he ventures out and quickly discovers that each classroom has its own pet and that each pet is a superhero just like him. The pets—including Boss Bunny, Wonder Pig (a guinea pig), and the Great Gecko—form the Super Pet Superhero League just in time to face off against the nefarious (although very small) Whiskerface, a rat with delusions of grandeur and aspirations to world domination. Will the superpets be able to fend off the diabolical Whiskerface and his rat pack? A spinoff series set in the same locale as the Captain Awesome books, this peppily paced romp mixes prose and graphic-novel–styled panels for a highly visual look that should attract a wide audience of young readers. Kirby's tale is a bit formulaic, but it's a tried-and-true formula that should keep pages flying. Expect fans of the popular Geronimo Stilton or Babymouse series to gravitate to this with its similar stylization, breezy plotlines, and accessibly adorable animal cast.

An episodic eyeful that’s abundantly cute and silly. (Graphic/fantasy hybrid. 5-8)

Pub Date: Dec. 20, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-8885-3

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Sept. 18, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2016


From the How To Catch… series

Only for dedicated fans of the series.

When a kid gets the part of the ninja master in the school play, it finally seems to be the right time to tackle the closet monster.

“I spot my monster right away. / He’s practicing his ROAR. / He almost scares me half to death, / but I won’t be scared anymore!” The monster is a large, fluffy poison-green beast with blue hands and feet and face and a fluffy blue-and-green–striped tail. The kid employs a “bag of tricks” to try to catch the monster: in it are a giant wind-up shark, two cans of silly string, and an elaborate cage-and-robot trap. This last works, but with an unexpected result: the monster looks sad. Turns out he was only scaring the boy to wake him up so they could be friends. The monster greets the boy in the usual monster way: he “rips a massive FART!!” that smells like strawberries and lime, and then they go to the monster’s house to meet his parents and play. The final two spreads show the duo getting ready for bed, which is a rather anticlimactic end to what has otherwise been a rambunctious tale. Elkerton’s bright illustrations have a TV-cartoon aesthetic, and his playful beast is never scary. The narrator is depicted with black eyes and hair and pale skin. Wallace’s limping verses are uninspired at best, and the scansion and meter are frequently off.

Only for dedicated fans of the series. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4926-4894-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017


From the The Kingdom of Wrenly series , Vol. 1

A gentle adventure that sets the stage for future quests.

A lonely prince gains a friend for a quest to find a missing jewel.

Prince Lucas of Wrenly has everything a boy could possibly want—except a friend. His father has forbidden him to play with the village children for reasons of propriety. Adventure-seeking Lucas acquires peasant clothes to masquerade as a commoner and make friends, but he is caught out. His mother, the queen, persuades the king to allow him one friend: Clara, the daughter of her personal dressmaker. When the queen’s prized emerald pendant goes missing, Lucas and Clara set off to find it. They follow the jewel as it changes hands, interviewing each temporary owner. Their adventure cleverly introduces the series’ world and peoples, taking the children to the fairy island of Primlox, the trolls’ home of Burth, the wizard island of Hobsgrove and finally Mermaid’s Cove. By befriending the mermaids, Lucas and Clara finally recover the jewel. In thanks, the king gives Clara a horse of her own so that she may ride with Lucas on their future adventures. The third-person narration is generally unobtrusive, allowing the characters to take center stage. The charming, medieval-flavored illustrations set the fairy-tale scene and take up enough page space that new and reluctant readers won’t be overwhelmed by text.

 A gentle adventure that sets the stage for future quests. (Fantasy. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-9691-0

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Feb. 11, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2014

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