THAT STINKING FEELING

SUPER GOOFBALLS, BOOK ONE

Redolent with olfactory humor, this heavily illustrated series kickoff from a TV cartoonist introduces an array of oddly abled superheroes, then pits them against a pair of gassy opponents. Having eluded the deadly Hyper Bad Breath Rays of Queen Smellina the Shrieking Stinkbug, young Amazing Techno Dude and his elderly guardian Bodacious Backwards Woman pack her off to jail (or so they think). They then take on a parade of boarders including the likes of Super Vacation Man (who can Time Share his way to being two places at once, every third weekend), the Impossibly Tough Two-Headed Infant, SuperSass CuteGirl and (shades of Captain Underpants) Mighty Tighty Whitey. Though Dude finds the quarrelsome new arrivals major pains to live with, they’re there in the clutch after Queen Smellina escapes and acquires a sidekick in the alienated Fabian the Fabulous Flatulent Fellow. Comparable to the late, unlamented “Barf-O-Rama” series in style, appeal and, probably, lifespan. (Fantasy. 9-11)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2007

ISBN: 0-06-085212-7

Page Count: 160

Publisher: HarperTrophy

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2006

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KENNY & THE DRAGON

Reports of children requesting rewrites of The Reluctant Dragon are rare at best, but this new version may be pleasing to young or adult readers less attuned to the pleasures of literary period pieces. Along with modernizing the language—“Hmf! This Beowulf fellow had a severe anger management problem”—DiTerlizzi dials down the original’s violence. The red-blooded Boy is transformed into a pacifistic bunny named Kenny, St. George is just George the badger, a retired knight who owns a bookstore, and there is no actual spearing (or, for that matter, references to the annoyed knight’s “Oriental language”) in the climactic show-fight with the friendly, crème-brulée-loving dragon Grahame. In look and spirit, the author’s finely detailed drawings of animals in human dress are more in the style of Lynn Munsinger than, for instance, Ernest Shepard or Michael Hague. They do, however, nicely reflect the bright, informal tone of the text. A readable, if denatured, rendition of a faded classic. (Fantasy. 9-11)

Pub Date: Aug. 5, 2008

ISBN: 978-1-4169-3977-1

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2008

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Epic—in plot, not length—and as wise and wonderful as Gerald Morris’ Arthurian exploits.

KNIGHTS VS. DINOSAURS

Who needs dragons when there are Terrible Lizards to be fought?

Having recklessly boasted to King Arthur and the court that he’d slain 40 dragons, Sir Erec can hardly refuse when Merlin offers him more challenging foes…and so it is that in no time (so to speak), Erec, with bookish Sir Hector, the silent and enigmatic Black Knight, and blustering Sir Bors with his thin but doughty squire, Mel, in tow, are hewing away at fearsome creatures sporting natural armor and weapons every bit as effective as knightly ones. Happily, while all the glorious mashing and bashing leads to awesome feats aplenty—who would suspect that a ravening T. Rex could be decked by a well-placed punch to the jaw?—when the dust settles neither bloodshed nor permanent injury has been dealt to either side. Better yet, not even the stunning revelation that two of the Three Stooges–style bumblers aren’t what they seem (“Anyone else here a girl?”) keeps the questers from developing into a well-knit team capable of repeatedly saving one another’s bacon. Phelan endows the all-white human cast with finely drawn, eloquently expressive faces but otherwise works in a loose, movement-filled style, pitting his clanking crew against an almost nonstop onslaught of toothy monsters in a monochrome mix of single scenes and occasional wordless sequential panels.

Epic—in plot, not length—and as wise and wonderful as Gerald Morris’ Arthurian exploits. (Graphic/fantasy hybrid. 9-11)

Pub Date: Oct. 23, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-268623-7

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2018

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