Fast-paced and funny, this installment will bring Obi new fans. (Animal fantasy. 8-11)


From the Obi series , Vol. 2

Obi the gerbil (Obi: Gerbil on the Loose, 2008) is back in action in this simple story about dealing with perceived rejection and making room in one’s heart for new friends.

Obi is a blissfully happy gerbil who basks in her owner Rachel’s affection. Until, that is, the day that Obi witnesses Rachel receive as a birthday present a golden retriever puppy she dubs Kenobi. Rachel begins to lavish attention on her puppy, and Kenobi usurps Obi’s position in Rachel’s lap during her very favorite pastime—watching Star Wars movies. What’s a lonely, rejected gerbil to do? Obi gets some bad advice from a crotchety mouse called Mr. Durkins and tricks Kenobi into running outside and getting lost. Once this plan actually works, Obi is filled with remorse and hatches a plan to find Kenobi and bring him home—but she will have to venture into the great outdoors if this mission is to be successful. Is she brave enough? Is she smart and strong enough to bring Kenobi home? And if she does, will things with Rachel ever be like they were before Kenobi arrived? These animal characters share recognizable foibles with their human readers, revealed in both humorous dialogue and flawed actions.

Fast-paced and funny, this installment will bring Obi new fans.  (Animal fantasy. 8-11)

Pub Date: April 12, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8037-3727-3

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2012

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Dizzyingly silly.


From the Captain Underpants series , Vol. 11

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 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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A multicultural title with obvious appeal for animal-loving middle graders.


When a Bengali boy finds and saves a tiger cub from a man who wants to sell her on the black market, he realizes that the schoolwork he resents could lead to a career protecting his beloved Sunderbans island home.

When the not-yet-weaned cub escapes from a nearby reserve, Neel and many of his neighbors join the search. But some are in the pay of greedy Gupta, a shady entrepreneur who’s recently settled in their community. Even Neel’s father is tempted by Gupta’s money, although he knows that Gupta doesn’t plan to take the cub back to the refuge. Neel and his sister use the boy’s extensive knowledge of the island’s swampy interior to find the cub’s hiding place and lure it out so it can be returned to its mother. The Kolkota-born author visited the remote Sunderbans in the course of her research. She lovingly depicts this beautiful tropical forest in the context of Neel’s efforts to find the cub and his reluctance to leave his familiar world. While the conflicts resolve a bit too easily, the sense of place is strong and the tiger cub’s rescue very satisfying. Pastel illustrations will help readers envision the story.

A multicultural title with obvious appeal for animal-loving middle graders. (author's note, organizations, glossary) (Fiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: April 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-58089-660-3

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: Jan. 10, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2015

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