Next book

THE WALL OF WILLOWS

From the Magic Mirror series , Vol. 4

Successfully combines history and entertainment.

A pair of siblings works to change history for the better.

In this fourth title in the Magic Mirror series, Chinese American siblings Marko and Miranda Lee know that history can come to life. Thanks to a magic mirror that allows them to travel through time to different moments in Chinese history, it is literally true. The concise narrative reveals that their paternal grandfather, Anqi Sheng, an archaeologist and magician, assigns them tasks in which they utilize the mirror to help mitigate damage at critical points in time. This time the pair must travel to 210 B.C.E. to carry out Emperor Qin’s dying wish: to deliver the royal seal and an order to name his eldest son, kindhearted Prince Fusu, the heir. However, corrupt Chancellor Zhao and his soldiers are hot on their heels with the emperor’s previous order demanding the prince’s death by suicide. The plot is action-packed and is driven at a bustling pace. Marko and Mira are aided by a few others including Mejin, the Lady of the Wall, a figure from Chinese folklore during the building of the Great Wall. An author’s note explains the historical basis for the characters and events within the story, but there is no bibliography of either their sources or further reading. Though a few sudden resolutions may confuse readers, this lively, high-interest adventure should appeal to those looking for a quick, exciting read.

Successfully combines history and entertainment. (Science fiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: May 22, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4788-6925-2

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Reycraft Books

Review Posted Online: March 24, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

Next book

CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS AND THE TYRANNICAL RETALIATION OF THE TURBO TOILET 2000

From the Captain Underpants series , Vol. 11

Dizzyingly silly.

The famous superhero returns to fight another villain with all the trademark wit and humor the series is known for.

Despite the title, Captain Underpants is bizarrely absent from most of this adventure. His school-age companions, George and Harold, maintain most of the spotlight. The creative chums fool around with time travel and several wacky inventions before coming upon the evil Turbo Toilet 2000, making its return for vengeance after sitting out a few of the previous books. When the good Captain shows up to save the day, he brings with him dynamic action and wordplay that meet the series’ standards. The Captain Underpants saga maintains its charm even into this, the 11th volume. The epic is filled to the brim with sight gags, toilet humor, flip-o-ramas and anarchic glee. Holding all this nonsense together is the author’s good-natured sense of harmless fun. The humor is never gross or over-the-top, just loud and innocuous. Adults may roll their eyes here and there, but youngsters will eat this up just as quickly as they devoured every other Underpants episode.

Dizzyingly silly. (Humor. 8-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 26, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-545-50490-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

Next book

THE FIRST CAT IN SPACE ATE PIZZA

From the First Cat in Space series , Vol. 1

Epic lunacy.

Will extragalactic rats eat the moon?

Can a cybernetic toenail clipper find a worthy purpose in the vast universe? Will the first feline astronaut ever get a slice of pizza? Read on. Reworked from the Live Cartoon series of homespun video shorts released on Instagram in 2020 but retaining that “we’re making this up as we go” quality, the episodic tale begins with the electrifying discovery that our moon is being nibbled away. Off blast one strong, silent, furry hero—“Meow”—and a stowaway robot to our nearest celestial neighbor to hook up with the imperious Queen of the Moon and head toward the dark side, past challenges from pirates on the Sea of Tranquility and a sphinx with a riddle (“It weighs a ton, but floats on air. / It’s bald but has a lot of hair.” The answer? “Meow”). They endure multiple close but frustratingly glancing encounters with pizza and finally deliver the malign, multiheaded Rat King and its toothy armies to a suitable fate. Cue the massive pizza party! Aside from one pirate captain and a general back on Earth, the human and humanoid cast in Harris’ loosely drawn cartoon panels, from the appropriately moon-faced queen on, is light skinned. Merch, music, and the original episodes are available on an associated website.

Epic lunacy. (Graphic science fiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: May 10, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-06-308408-7

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 8, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2022

Close Quickview