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From the Not-So-Impossible Tales series , Vol. 2

Campy, 1960s-style science fiction mixes with zany, kid-friendly ridiculousness for extreme fun.

The American debut of an acclaimed British comedy.

Astra’s family sets out on a 199-year journey to planet Nova Mundi. To survive the trip, the passengers will spend the voyage sleeping in a cryogenically frozen state. But before going nearly two centuries between dinner and breakfast, Astra wants a bedtime snack. The ship’s food synthesizer’s so much fun that she requests the ultimate cake—which apparently breaks the machine, sticking it on a “WORKING” message. Astra dodges responsibility and goes to bed, only to wake up early as the only conscious human on the ship. She soon encounters the monstrous, sentient cakes the synthesizer has spent decades evolving—and worse, the synthesizer’s malfunctions have put other essential ship functions at risk! While evading the hungry cakes on her quest to get to the ship’s control room and set things to right, Astra encounters a terrifying-looking extraterrestrial life-form that’s boarded the ship and is then caught by spoon-loving outer-space salvagers (who have mistaken the sleeping people for dead and declared the drifting ship abandoned). Astra must clean up her mess by stopping both the cakes and the aliens. Vibrant, lively illustrations highlight the ludicrousness of it all. The resolution’s weird enough to fit in perfectly with the rest of the story.

Campy, 1960s-style science fiction mixes with zany, kid-friendly ridiculousness for extreme fun. (Science fiction. 7-11)

Pub Date: May 26, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-38792-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Feb. 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2015

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From the Bad Guys series , Vol. 1

We challenge anyone to read this and keep a straight face.

Four misunderstood villains endeavor to turn over a new leaf…or a new rap sheet in Blabey's frenzied romp.

As readers open the first page of this early chapter book, Mr. Wolf is right there to greet them, bemoaning his reputation. "Just because I've got BIG POINTY TEETH and RAZOR-SHARP CLAWS and I occasionally like to dress up like an OLD LADY, that doesn't mean… / … I'm a BAD GUY." To prove this very fact, Mr. Wolf enlists three equally slandered friends into the Good Guys Club: Mr. Snake (aka the Chicken Swallower), Mr. Piranha (aka the Butt Biter), and Mr. Shark (aka Jaws). After some convincing from Mr. Wolf, the foursome sets off determined to un-smirch their names (and reluctantly curbing their appetites). Although these predators find that not everyone is ready to be at the receiving end of their helpful efforts, they use all their Bad Guy know-how to manage a few hilarious good deeds. Blabey has hit the proverbial nail on the head, kissed it full on the mouth, and handed it a stick of Acme dynamite. With illustrations that startle in their manic comedy and deadpan direct address and with a narrative that follows four endearingly sardonic characters trying to push past (sometimes successfully) their fear-causing natures, this book instantly joins the classic ranks of Captain Underpants and The Stinky Cheese Man.

We challenge anyone to read this and keep a straight face. (Fiction. 7-11)

Pub Date: Jan. 3, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-545-91240-2

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 18, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2016

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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

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