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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If not as effervescent as Roz’s first outing, it is still a provocatively contemplative one.


Roz, a robot who learned to adapt to life among wild creatures in her first outing, seeks to return to the island she calls home.

Brown’s sequel to The Wild Robot (2016) continues an intriguing premise: What would happen to a robot after challenges in an unexpected environment cause it to evolve in unusual ways? As this book opens, Roz is delivered to a farm where she helps a widower with two young children run a dairy operation that has been in his family for generations. Roz reveals her backstory to the cows, who are supportive of the robot’s determination to return to the island and to her adopted son, the goose Brightbill. The cows, the children, and finally Brightbill himself come to Roz’s aid. The focus on Roz’s escape from human control results in a somewhat solemn and episodic narrative, with an extended journey and chase after Roz leaves the farm. Dr. Molovo, a literal deus ex machina, appears near the end of the story to provide a means of rescue. She is Roz’s designer/creator, and, intrigued by the robot’s adaptation and evolution but cognizant of the threat that those achievements might represent to humans, she assists Roz and Brightbill in their quest. The satisfactory (if inevitable-feeling) conclusion may prompt discussion about individual agency and determination, whether for robots or people.

If not as effervescent as Roz’s first outing, it is still a provocatively contemplative one. (Fiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: March 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-316-38204-5

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

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