JACOB WONDERBAR AND THE INTERSTELLAR TIME WARP

From the Jacob Wonderbar series , Vol. 3

Space is huge, but Jacob and his friends are about to find out that time is even huger.

Jacob Wonderbar and his friends Sarah Daisy and Dexter head home after Jacob loses his campaign for president of the universe (Jacob Wonderbar for President of the Universe, 2012)—but they find themselves 50 years in Earth’s future. Jacob's mother tells him the only way to fix things is to find his father, which Jacob has been trying to do for two years. Now he discovers he has to search through all space and time. Mick Cracken (who won the election) is still president 50 years later, and he offers Jacob a time machine. On their trip to the Jurassic Period, the trio stumble upon Sarah's bratty little sister, Chloe...and then things really go off-kilter. An organization of Earth humans called the Strangers is set on the destruction of the Astrals (humans who went into space with Einstein), and if they succeed, Jacob will never exist—since his missing father was an Astral. Bransford finishes his Jacob Wonderbar trilogy with a time-hopping, screwball adventure sure to please fans of the slapstick space antics of the previous volumes. Though it mostly ignores the paradoxes of time travel (the pace doesn't allow for deep thought), this is nevertheless a satisfying series closer.

Steer newbies to the first in the series so they can experience the whole goofy tale. (Humorous science fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 7, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-8037-3703-7

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

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Is this the end? Well, no…the series will stagger on through at least one more scheduled sequel.

CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS AND THE TERRIFYING RETURN OF TIPPY TINKLETROUSERS

From the Captain Underpants series , Vol. 9

Sure signs that the creative wells are running dry at last, the Captain’s ninth, overstuffed outing both recycles a villain (see Book 4) and offers trendy anti-bullying wish fulfillment.

Not that there aren’t pranks and envelope-pushing quips aplenty. To start, in an alternate ending to the previous episode, Principal Krupp ends up in prison (“…a lot like being a student at Jerome Horwitz Elementary School, except that the prison had better funding”). There, he witnesses fellow inmate Tippy Tinkletrousers (aka Professor Poopypants) escape in a giant Robo-Suit (later reduced to time-traveling trousers). The villain sets off after George and Harold, who are in juvie (“not much different from our old school…except that they have library books here.”). Cut to five years previous, in a prequel to the whole series. George and Harold link up in kindergarten to reduce a quartet of vicious bullies to giggling insanity with a relentless series of pranks involving shaving cream, spiders, effeminate spoof text messages and friendship bracelets. Pilkey tucks both topical jokes and bathroom humor into the cartoon art, and ups the narrative’s lexical ante with terms like “pharmaceuticals” and “theatrical flair.” Unfortunately, the bullies’ sad fates force Krupp to resign, so he’s not around to save the Earth from being destroyed later on by Talking Toilets and other invaders…

Is this the end? Well, no…the series will stagger on through at least one more scheduled sequel. (Fantasy. 10-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-545-17534-0

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 20, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2012

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Dizzyingly silly.

CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS AND THE TYRANNICAL RETALIATION OF THE TURBO TOILET 2000

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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