Major challenges indeed for fans of nose-to-page viewing.

DINOSAUR DETECTIVE'S SEARCH-AND-FIND RESCUE MISSION

Jaded Where’s Waldo seachers will have to up their games considerably to match this sharp-eyed new dino-detective.

In a stubby red airplane Dinosaur Detective sets out to spot five figures or items hidden in each of 11 locales—from a closely packed medieval European village to an equally labyrinthine museum, from a spaghettilike tangle of caves to a ridiculously overcrowded neighborhood in outer space. With malice aforethought Guerrive fills each aerial (or underground) view with arrays of similar rooflines and other natural or artificial features to interfere with systematic visual inspection. She crowds into them dozens of precisely drawn but very small people, ETs, artifacts, and general bric-a-brac. There’s so much to see that the search for an umbrella-bearing robot, a rabbit gymnast, or whatever else Dinosaur Detective is looking for can easily take a back seat to savoring the surreal side business. Monsters chow down on mountain peaks; a roller-coaster rider at the fair loses her lunch; fur-clad boaters paddle their way across a starry sky past a moon with a spaceship in its eye; a seascape teems with mythological references. The human cast is pleasantly diverse of skin color and even includes some mixed-race families. Invitations to turn back (“Did I see a giraffe in space?”) and a visual key that may require a magnifying glass to use follow a final cutaway view of Dinosaur Dectective’s 12-level home.

Major challenges indeed for fans of nose-to-page viewing. (Picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 3, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-78603-071-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Wide Eyed Editions

Review Posted Online: June 5, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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Dizzyingly silly.

CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS AND THE TYRANNICAL RETALIATION OF THE TURBO TOILET 2000

From the Captain Underpants series , Vol. 11

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 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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With plenty left to be resolved, the next entry will be eagerly sought after.

RISE OF THE EARTH DRAGON

From the Dragon Masters series , Vol. 1

Drake has been selected by the king to serve as a Dragon Master, quite a change for an 8-year-old farmer boy.

The dragons are a secret, and the reason King Roland has them is a mystery, but what is clear is that the Dragon Stone has identified Drake as one of the rare few children who have a special connection with dragons and the ability to serve as a trainer. Drake’s dragon is a long brown creature with, at first, no particular talents that Drake can identify. He calls the dragon Worm. It isn’t long before Drake begins to realize he has a very strong connection with Worm and can share what seem to be his dragon’s thoughts. After one of the other Dragon Masters decides to illicitly take the dragons outside, disaster strikes. The cave they are passing through collapses, blocking the passageway, and then Worm’s special talent becomes evident. The first of a new series of early chapter books, this entry is sure to attract fans. Brief chapters, large print, lots of action, attractive illustrations in every spread, including a maplike panorama, an enviable protagonist—who wouldn’t want to be a Dragon Master?—all combine to make an entertaining read.

With plenty left to be resolved, the next entry will be eagerly sought after. (Fantasy. 7-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 24, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-545-64624-6

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Branches/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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