Check that tongue is firmly in cheek before following these dedicated do-gooders into battle against a truly “repellant” foe.



From the Mega Hero series

A diminutive costumed superhero and friends defend the town of MegaCityVille from the thoroughly irritating Mosquito Man in this French import, one of a quartet.

Mega Mouse may be small, but she’s “very, very, very strong.” This comes in handy when Mosquito Man—hardly more than a dot in the simple cartoon illustrations but thrillingly introduced here and also in three co-published companions as “the Big Wicked Mosquito thirsty for blood”—blows up a bridge in front of a bus full of children squired by Mega Pig. “Thank you, Mega Mouse!” says the portly paladin after a dramatic save. “No problem, Mega Pig,” says she. “We’re still on for tonight?” Along with being miscast as male, the resilient Mosquito Man is likewise crushed, but flies off vowing revenge, after splattering Mega Pig with ketchup, being driven away by Mega Wolf after ambushing Little Red Riding Hood, and stranding Tom Thumb on the moon for Mega Bunny to rescue. Each of the four superheroes comes with a distinctive character and lifestyle (Mega Wolf enjoys flexing in front of the mirror and “pleasing the chicks”—literally), and each has a foible that is revealed at the end with an entreaty to readers to keep it quiet: Mega Bunny needs a night light, for instance, and Mega Pig likes to spoon jam straight out of the jar. Sacre bleu!

Check that tongue is firmly in cheek before following these dedicated do-gooders into battle against a truly “repellant” foe. (map) (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Nov. 15, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-77085-639-4

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Firefly

Review Posted Online: Sept. 16, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet


The print version of a knee-slapping cumulative ditty.

In the song, Smith meets a donkey on the road. It is three-legged, and so a “wonky donkey” that, on further examination, has but one eye and so is a “winky wonky donkey” with a taste for country music and therefore a “honky-tonky winky wonky donkey,” and so on to a final characterization as a “spunky hanky-panky cranky stinky-dinky lanky honky-tonky winky wonky donkey.” A free musical recording (of this version, anyway—the author’s website hints at an adults-only version of the song) is available from the publisher and elsewhere online. Even though the book has no included soundtrack, the sly, high-spirited, eye patch–sporting donkey that grins, winks, farts, and clumps its way through the song on a prosthetic metal hoof in Cowley’s informal watercolors supplies comical visual flourishes for the silly wordplay. Look for ready guffaws from young audiences, whether read or sung, though those attuned to disability stereotypes may find themselves wincing instead or as well.

Hee haw. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-545-26124-1

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 29, 2018

Did you like this book?


From the Diary of a Pug series , Vol. 1

A cuddly, squishy pug’s puggy-wuggy diary.

Equipped with both #pugunicorn and #pughotdog outfits, pug Baron von Bubbles (aka Bub) is the kind of dog that always dresses to impress. Bub also makes lots of memorable faces, such as the “Hey, you’re not the boss of me!” expression aimed at Duchess, the snooty pink house cat. Some of Bub’s favorite things include skateboarding, a favorite teddy, and eating peanut butter. Bub also loves Bella, who adopted Bub from a fair—it was “love at first sniff.” Together, Bub and Bella do a lot of arts and crafts. Their latest project: entering Bella’s school’s inventor challenge by making a super-duper awesome rocket. But, when the pesky neighborhood squirrel, Nutz, makes off with Bub’s bear, Bub accidentally ruins their project. How will they win the contest? More importantly, how will Bella ever forgive him? May’s cutesy, full-color cartoon art sets the tone for this pug-tastic romp for the new-to–chapter-books crowd. Emojilike faces accentuate Bub’s already expressive character design. Bub’s infectious first-person narration pushes the silly factor off the charts. In addition to creating the look and feel of a diary, the lined paper helps readers follow the eight-chapter story. Most pages have fewer than five sentences, often broken into smaller sections. Additional text appears in color-coded speech bubbles. Bella presents white.

Totes adorbs. (Fiction. 5-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-53003-2

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet