A whimsically told, timely message of inclusivity with appeal to “every bunny.”

MR. BEAGLE GOES TO RABBITTOWN

From the Mr. Beagle series

When bunny mittens mysteriously vanish in Rabbittown, a newcomer investigates.

A pleasant place where “every bunny knew every bunny, and every bunny was friends,” Rabbittown proves less than welcoming to Mr. Beagle when he arrives and opens a corner shop. Unsure of this new dog in town, bunnies avoid Mr. Beagle’s store, leaving him bored. Then bunny mittens disappear; “soon every bunny had lost a mitt or two.” Using his “good nose for sniffing out trouble,” helpful Mr. Beagle explores Rabbittown, encountering the same scent everywhere a mitten is missing. Following the scent, Mr. Beagle notices “something fishy” about one particular bunny, leading to a surprising resolution that raises town awareness. The deceptively simple text engages in clever wordplay, including repeated use of the phrase “every bunny,” suggesting Rabbittown may be a great place for bunnies but not for others. Amusing, tiny signs scattered throughout Rabbittown cheekily reinforce the pervasive bunny theme (“Lapin Dancing,” “Sadie Hopkins Dance,” “Hip Hop Class,” “Hare Salon”). Neatly rendered in precise, thin, black outlines, the illustrations reduce buildings, animals, and objects to one-dimensional, colorful, simple patterns. Teeny rabbits, distinguished only by their size, fur color, and apparel, populate the streets and shops of Rabbittown, inviting readers to join Mr. Beagle’s thorough exploration of “every bunny” for clues to solving this charming conundrum.

A whimsically told, timely message of inclusivity with appeal to “every bunny.” (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 26, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-927917-31-2

Page Count: 44

Publisher: Running the Goat

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2020

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What a wag.

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DOG MAN

From the Dog Man series , Vol. 1

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 Man comics 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: June 1, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

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A fitting farewell, still funny, acute, and positive in its view of human nature even in its 37th episode.

HORRIBLE HARRY SAYS GOODBYE

From the Horrible Harry series , Vol. 37

A long-running series reaches its closing chapters.

Having, as Kline notes in her warm valedictory acknowledgements, taken 30 years to get through second and third grade, Harry Spooger is overdue to move on—but not just into fourth grade, it turns out, as his family is moving to another town as soon as the school year ends. The news leaves his best friend, narrator “Dougo,” devastated…particularly as Harry doesn’t seem all that fussed about it. With series fans in mind, the author takes Harry through a sort of last-day-of-school farewell tour. From his desk he pulls a burned hot dog and other items that featured in past episodes, says goodbye to Song Lee and other classmates, and even (for the first time ever) leads Doug and readers into his house and memento-strewn room for further reminiscing. Of course, Harry isn’t as blasé about the move as he pretends, and eyes aren’t exactly dry when he departs. But hardly is he out of sight before Doug is meeting Mohammad, a new neighbor from Syria who (along with further diversifying a cast that began as mostly white but has become increasingly multiethnic over the years) will also be starting fourth grade at summer’s end, and planning a written account of his “horrible” buddy’s exploits. Finished illustrations not seen.

A fitting farewell, still funny, acute, and positive in its view of human nature even in its 37th episode. (Fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: Nov. 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-451-47963-1

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Sept. 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2018

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