It’s not hard to imagine that the Grimms are rolling over in their graves—with laughter.

READ REVIEW

FAIRY TALES FROM THE BROTHERS GRIMM

From the Muppets Meet the Classics series

The Muppets take on the tales of the Brothers Grimm

Cast members of the original Muppet Show, from the stars to the obscure, run around in the prologue getting ready for a performance, much as they did on television in the 1970s. Miss Piggy demands a private dressing room. Gonzo crashes through the ceiling. Kermit and Scooter rush around helping and controlling. What follows when the curtain rises are 18 fractured fairy tales (and these are compound fractures). Fozzie stars in a gender-flipped “Little Red-Cap” called “Not-So-Little Red Cap,” his bad jokes well-represented. Miss Piggy is the put-upon daughter of the miller who must spin straw into gold for a greedy king (Dr. Teeth—three guesses where the gold will go) in “Unclestiltskin.” Janice makes a most excellent Rapunzel, and Kermit (of course) a chipper frog prince. Humor both wry and broad is in abundance, and there are plenty of one-liners aimed at adults, making this a nifty collection of stories to read together. Genially foolish illustrations precede every tale, and the original tale titles appear under the Muppetized ones.

It’s not hard to imagine that the Grimms are rolling over in their graves—with laughter. (Fiction. 5-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 9, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-451-53438-5

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: Aug. 14, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2018

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An all-day sugar rush, putting the “fun” back into, er, education.

IF I BUILT A SCHOOL

A young visionary describes his ideal school: “Perfectly planned and impeccably clean. / On a scale, 1 to 10, it’s more like 15!”

In keeping with the self-indulgently fanciful lines of If I Built a Car (2005) and If I Built a House (2012), young Jack outlines in Seussian rhyme a shiny, bright, futuristic facility in which students are swept to open-roofed classes in clear tubes, there are no tests but lots of field trips, and art, music, and science are afterthoughts next to the huge and awesome gym, playground, and lunchroom. A robot and lots of cute puppies (including one in a wheeled cart) greet students at the door, robotically made-to-order lunches range from “PB & jelly to squid, lightly seared,” and the library’s books are all animated popups rather than the “everyday regular” sorts. There are no guards to be seen in the spacious hallways—hardly any adults at all, come to that—and the sparse coed student body features light- and dark-skinned figures in roughly equal numbers, a few with Asian features, and one in a wheelchair. Aside from the lack of restrooms, it seems an idyllic environment—at least for dog-loving children who prefer sports and play over quieter pursuits.

An all-day sugar rush, putting the “fun” back into, er, education. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-55291-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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Readers will be waiting to see how Charlie faces his next challenge in a series that marks a lovely change of pace from the...

CHARLIE BUMPERS VS. THE TEACHER OF THE YEAR

From the Charlie Bumpers series , Vol. 1

Charlie Bumpers is doomed. The one teacher he never wanted in the whole school turns out to be his fourth-grade teacher.

Charlie recalls third grade, when he accidentally hit the scariest teacher in the whole school with his sneaker. “I know all about you, Charlie Bumpers,” she says menacingly on the first day of fourth grade. Now, in addition to all the hardships of starting school, he has gotten off on the wrong foot with her. Charlie’s dry and dramatic narrative voice clearly reveals the inner life of a 9-year-old—the glass is always half empty, especially in light of a series of well-intentioned events gone awry. It’s quite a litany: “Hitting Mrs. Burke in the head with the sneaker. The messy desk. The swinging on the door. The toilet paper. And now this—the shoe on the roof.” Harley has teamed once again with illustrator Gustavson (Lost and Found, 2012) to create a real-life world in which a likable kid must face the everyday terrors of childhood: enormous bullies, looming teachers and thick gym coaches with huge pointing fingers. Into this series opener, Harley magically weaves the simple lesson that people, even teachers, can surprise you.

Readers will be waiting to see how Charlie faces his next challenge in a series that marks a lovely change of pace from the sarcasm of Wimpy Kid. (Fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-56145-732-8

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: Aug. 14, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2013

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