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ESCAPE FROM THE PALACE

From the Royal Rabbits of London series , Vol. 2

Another whimsical trip down the rabbit hole

The sequel to The Royal Rabbits of London (2018) picks up six weeks after young Shylo Tawny-Tail left his cozy home in the Warren for bustling London on a quest to foil a plot to harm the queen.

Shylo’s courage has earned him admittance into the legendary secret order of brave bunnies who live under Buckingham Palace in order to protect the royal family from evil-doers. Speaking of evil-doers, those vile, stinky gossipmongers, the Ratzis, are at it again. Their leader, the mysterious Papa Ratzi, has ordered them to find and kidnap Shylo in order to uncover the secrets of the Royal Rabbits. That’s phase one of his nefarious plan. Phase two: embarrass the king and queen and humiliate their ally, the president of the United States of America. You see: The alliance between the United States and England helps keep peace in the world, but peace is a Ratzi’s worst enemy—bad news sells, after all. Can little Shylo prevent catastrophe, or will the Ratzis stop him first? Front- and backmatter include a stylized map of the story’s locales, facts about U.S. presidents and the White House, and a “Which Royal Rabbit Are You?” quiz, all of which complement the book’s tongue-in-cheek fun. Flourishes include the Ratzis’ elaborate tech and Hindley’s amusing illustrations. Readers need not have read the first book, but they’d be doing themselves a disservice by not starting there.

Another whimsical trip down the rabbit hole . (Animal fantasy. 7-12)

Pub Date: Jan. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4814-9863-0

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Aladdin

Review Posted Online: Sept. 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2018

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THE WILD ROBOT PROTECTS

From the Wild Robot series , Vol. 3

Hugely entertaining, timely, and triumphant.

Robot Roz undertakes an unusual ocean journey to save her adopted island home in this third series entry.

When a poison tide flowing across the ocean threatens their island, Roz works with the resident creatures to ensure that they will have clean water, but the destruction of vegetation and crowding of habitats jeopardize everyone’s survival. Brown’s tale of environmental depredation and turmoil is by turns poignant, graceful, endearing, and inspiring, with his (mostly) gentle robot protagonist at its heart. Though Roz is different from the creatures she lives with or encounters—including her son, Brightbill the goose, and his new mate, Glimmerwing—she makes connections through her versatile communication abilities and her desire to understand and help others. When Roz accidentally discovers that the replacement body given to her by Dr. Molovo is waterproof, she sets out to seek help and discovers the human-engineered source of the toxic tide. Brown’s rich descriptions of undersea landscapes, entertaining conversations between Roz and wild creatures, and concise yet powerful explanations of the effect of the poison tide on the ecology of the island are superb. Simple, spare illustrations offer just enough glimpses of Roz and her surroundings to spark the imagination. The climactic confrontation pits oceangoing mammals, seabirds, fish, and even zooplankton against hardware and technology in a nicely choreographed battle. But it is Roz’s heroism and peacemaking that save the day.

Hugely entertaining, timely, and triumphant. (author’s note) (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2023

ISBN: 9780316669412

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Aug. 26, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2023

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THE LAST KIDS ON EARTH

From the Last Kids on Earth series , Vol. 1

Classic action-packed, monster-fighting fun

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It’s been 42 days since the Monster Apocalypse began, and 13-year-old Jack Sullivan, a self-proclaimed “zombie-fighting, monster-slaying tornado of cool” is on a quest to find and rescue his not-so-secret crush, June Del Toro, whether she needs it, wants it, or not.

Jack cobbles together an unlikely but endearing crew, including his scientist best friend, Quint Baker; Dirk Savage, Parker Middle School’s biggest bully; and a pet monster named Rover, to help him save the damsel in distress and complete the “ULTIMATE Feat of Apocalyptic Success.” Middle-grade readers, particularly boys, will find Jack’s pitch-perfect mix of humor, bravado, and self-professed geekiness impossible to resist. His sidekicks are equally entertaining, and it doesn’t hurt that there are also plenty of oozing, drooling, sharp-toothed monsters and zombies and a host of gizmos and gadgets to hook readers and keep them cheering with every turn of the page. Holgate’s illustrations play an integral role in the novel’s success. They not only bring Brallier’s characters to life, but also add depth and detail to the story, making plain just exactly how big Rover is and giving the lie to Jack’s “killer driving.” The marriage of text and illustration serves as a perfect example of what an illustrated novel can and should be.

Classic action-packed, monster-fighting fun (. (Graphic/horror hybrid. 8-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-670-01661-7

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: July 21, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2015

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