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BAD PANDA

Misunderstandings, slapstick, and giant poo…what more could a young reader want?

Cursed with cuteness, all Lin the panda wants to do is be bad.

Even though Lin’s cuddliness won her a spot at the city zoo the other pandas covet, she just wants to return to the panda sanctuary and play with her beloved (though doltish) older brother, Face-Like-A-Bag-Of-Potatoes. She and her new panda friend Fu decide that if being a good panda got her to the zoo, being a bad panda will get her sent back. Lin’s first hurdle is Fu, as he is too kind to be a bad panda along with her. Lin decides scaring pigeons is a good first step, but the pigeons aren’t afraid of cute Lin, and the humans think she’s so cute trying to scare the pigeons, they take photos. When she tries to scare off all the visitors at the main gate, they snap more photos of her trying to be scary. She enlists the help of Malo, a capuchin monkey. Will any of their plans succeed? (Hint: Don’t call her a “fluffy-wuffy bear.”) Creators of the Dave Pigeon series, popular overseas, Haddow and Dempsey kick off a new series of giggle-out-loud early chapter books with this introduction to Lin and her cuteness problem. The easy-reading text retains its original British spelling and punctuation along with the occasional criticism. Dempsey’s two-color vignettes and comics panels illustrate the silliness.

Misunderstandings, slapstick, and giant poo…what more could a young reader want? (Animal fantasy. 5-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 24, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-571-35241-8

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Faber & Faber

Review Posted Online: June 15, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2021

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DOG MAN

From the Dog Man series , Vol. 1

What a wag.

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What do you get from sewing the head of a smart dog onto the body of a tough police officer? A new superhero from the incorrigible creator of Captain Underpants.

Finding a stack of old Dog Mancomics that got them in trouble back in first grade, George and Harold decide to craft a set of new(ish) adventures with (more or less) improved art and spelling. These begin with an origin tale (“A Hero Is Unleashed”), go on to a fiendish attempt to replace the chief of police with a “Robo Chief” and then a temporarily successful scheme to make everyone stupid by erasing all the words from every book (“Book ’Em, Dog Man”), and finish off with a sort of attempted alien invasion evocatively titled “Weenie Wars: The Franks Awaken.” In each, Dog Man squares off against baddies (including superinventor/archnemesis Petey the cat) and saves the day with a clever notion. With occasional pauses for Flip-O-Rama featurettes, the tales are all framed in brightly colored sequential panels with hand-lettered dialogue (“How do you feel, old friend?” “Ruff!”) and narrative. The figures are studiously diverse, with police officers of both genders on view and George, the chief, and several other members of the supporting cast colored in various shades of brown. Pilkey closes as customary with drawing exercises, plus a promise that the canine crusader will be further unleashed in a sequel.

What a wag. (Graphic fantasy. 7-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-545-58160-8

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 31, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

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NOODLEHEADS SEE THE FUTURE

Two delightfully dense heroes bring folk tales into the 21st century, and young readers are all the richer for it.

Two thickheaded macaroni noodles prove the old adage: a fool and his firewood are soon parted.

Fools have been called “noodleheads” for centuries, but until recently few have represented the term quite so literally. Mac and Mac aren’t the brightest pieces of pasta in the world, but their hearts are in the right place. Here, the two decide to help their mama out by gathering firewood in hopes that she’ll bake them a cake. As they are attempting to cut the very branch they’re sitting on, a passing meatball points out that they are mere minutes away from bruised bottoms. When his words come to pass, our heroes decide the meatball is clairvoyant and demand to know their future. Drawing on and smoothly weaving together a variety of folk tales, the brief graphic novel describes how its obtuse protagonists single-mindedly seek cake, even as they anticipate death, purchase “firewood seeds” (aka acorns), and accidentally dig their mother a garden. Emergent readers will appreciate the simple text, short chapters, and comics-inspired paneled illustrations. Adults will appreciate the authors’ note, which goes into some detail about each chapter’s folk origins.

Two delightfully dense heroes bring folk tales into the 21st century, and young readers are all the richer for it. (Graphic early reader. 5-9)

Pub Date: March 15, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-8234-3673-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Dec. 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2017

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