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From the Not-So-Impossible Tales series , Vol. 1

Readers’ ribs aren’t the only ones that get a vigorous tickle in this aquatic escapade.

Receiving help from a nearsighted mermaid and a self-propelling island with self-esteem issues, a young lad sets out to rescue his explorer parents.

Having spent all 10 years of his life climbing mountains and exploring trackless jungles with his parents, Oliver Crisp is well-equipped to chase after the Thurlstone, an evil floating island that has added his mom and dad to its elaborate crown of sea wrack. It’s one of the Rambling Isles, on its way to the Hallowed Shallows for the Night of the Seawigs, a celebration held every seven years to give the islands a chance to show off all the stuff they’ve collected. Fortunately, another peripatetic island, this one so mild-mannered it hasn’t got a name, befriends Oliver. Together with Iris the mermaid and a sniffy albatross, Oliver and the newly named Cliff set out to get Oliver’s parents back. Before the rescue can come off, though, Oliver must stand up to the smart-mouthed seaweed of the Sarcastic Sea, get past an army of green furred, hyperactive sea monkeys spilling “down the Thurlstone’s face like a river of snot,” and face like unusual challenges. McIntyre illustrates Reeve’s sly and dashing tale with simply drawn cartoon monkeys (lots of monkeys) and other figures peeking in from the margins or tucking themselves between passages of text.

Readers’ ribs aren’t the only ones that get a vigorous tickle in this aquatic escapade. (Fantasy. 8-10)

Pub Date: July 22, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-385-38788-0

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: March 30, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2014

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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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A dramatic, educational, authentic whale of a tale.

After a tsunami devastates their habitat in the Salish Sea, a young orca and her brother embark on a remarkable adventure.

Vega’s matriarchal family expects her to become a hunter and wayfinder, with her younger brother, Deneb, protecting and supporting her. Invited to guide her family to their Gathering Place to hunt salmon, Vega’s underwater miscalculations endanger them all, and an embarrassed Vega questions whether she should be a wayfinder. When the baby sister she hoped would become her life companion is stillborn, a distraught Vega carries the baby away to a special resting place, shocking her grieving family. Dispatched to find his missing sister, Deneb locates Vega in the midst of a terrible tsunami. To escape the waters polluted by shattered boats, Vega leads Deneb into unfamiliar open sea. Alone and hungry, the young siblings encounter a spectacular giant whale and travel briefly with shark-hunting orcas. Trusting her instincts and gaining emotional strength from contemplating the vastness of the sky, Vega knows she must lead her brother home and help save her surviving family. In alternating first-person voices, Vega and Deneb tell their harrowing story, engaging young readers while educating them about the marine ecosystem. Realistic black-and-white illustrations enhance the maritime setting.

A dramatic, educational, authentic whale of a tale. (maps, wildlife facts, tribes of the Salish Sea watershed, environmental and geographical information, how to help orcas, author’s note, artist’s note, resources) (Animal fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-299592-6

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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