Next book

W.I.T.C.H.

THE POWER OF FRIENDSHIP: BOOK #1

Five average junior-high girls discover their magical powers in this European pop-culture phenomenon. Will, Irma, Taranee,...

[The author is listed as “tk” on Amazon, for all W.I.T.C.H. books. Filemaker won’t accept a blank author field. What to do?]

Five average junior-high girls discover their magical powers in this European pop-culture phenomenon. Will, Irma, Taranee, Cornelia and Hay Lin (the series title comes from their initials) are an ethnically diverse group of friends who share a big secret: They can transform into more physically mature (and trendily costumed) winged forms and summon the powers of the elements to close the “portals” which permit the monstrous inhabitants of Metamoor to threaten the idyllic Fortress of Candracar. While the two stories gathered here feature some demon fighting, the girls more often use their powers to attract the notice of cute boys, get out of chores and pass pop quizzes. Their indistinguishable personalities exhibit the generic shallow pluckiness that passes for “girl power.” While the clunky script appears to have been crafted by a marketing department, the art is slickly professional, with candy shop–pretty colors and a pronounced manga influence. Indeed, there is nothing here that hasn’t already been done more creatively by shoujo manga creators like CLAMP and Takeuchi, but this might serve as a painless introduction to the genre to those put off by black-and-white illustrations and foreign cultural references. Considering the title’s enormous success overseas, and the popularity of the American cartoon adaptation, expect heavy demand. (Graphic novel. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-7868-3674-1

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Volo/Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2005

Next book

WRECKING BALL

From the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series , Vol. 14

Readers can still rely on this series to bring laughs.

The Heffley family’s house undergoes a disastrous attempt at home improvement.

When Great Aunt Reba dies, she leaves some money to the family. Greg’s mom calls a family meeting to determine what to do with their share, proposing home improvements and then overruling the family’s cartoonish wish lists and instead pushing for an addition to the kitchen. Before bringing in the construction crew, the Heffleys attempt to do minor maintenance and repairs themselves—during which Greg fails at the work in various slapstick scenes. Once the professionals are brought in, the problems keep getting worse: angry neighbors, terrifying problems in walls, and—most serious—civil permitting issues that put the kibosh on what work’s been done. Left with only enough inheritance to patch and repair the exterior of the house—and with the school’s dismal standardized test scores as a final straw—Greg’s mom steers the family toward moving, opening up house-hunting and house-selling storylines (and devastating loyal Rowley, who doesn’t want to lose his best friend). While Greg’s positive about the move, he’s not completely uncaring about Rowley’s action. (And of course, Greg himself is not as unaffected as he wishes.) The gags include effectively placed callbacks to seemingly incidental events (the “stress lizard” brought in on testing day is particularly funny) and a lampoon of after-school-special–style problem books. Just when it seems that the Heffleys really will move, a new sequence of chaotic trouble and property destruction heralds a return to the status quo. Whew.

Readers can still rely on this series to bring laughs. (Graphic/fiction hybrid. 8-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3903-3

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2019

Next book

THE FIRST CAT IN SPACE ATE PIZZA

From the First Cat in Space series , Vol. 1

Epic lunacy.

Will extragalactic rats eat the moon?

Can a cybernetic toenail clipper find a worthy purpose in the vast universe? Will the first feline astronaut ever get a slice of pizza? Read on. Reworked from the Live Cartoon series of homespun video shorts released on Instagram in 2020 but retaining that “we’re making this up as we go” quality, the episodic tale begins with the electrifying discovery that our moon is being nibbled away. Off blast one strong, silent, furry hero—“Meow”—and a stowaway robot to our nearest celestial neighbor to hook up with the imperious Queen of the Moon and head toward the dark side, past challenges from pirates on the Sea of Tranquility and a sphinx with a riddle (“It weighs a ton, but floats on air. / It’s bald but has a lot of hair.” The answer? “Meow”). They endure multiple close but frustratingly glancing encounters with pizza and finally deliver the malign, multiheaded Rat King and its toothy armies to a suitable fate. Cue the massive pizza party! Aside from one pirate captain and a general back on Earth, the human and humanoid cast in Harris’ loosely drawn cartoon panels, from the appropriately moon-faced queen on, is light skinned. Merch, music, and the original episodes are available on an associated website.

Epic lunacy. (Graphic science fiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: May 10, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-06-308408-7

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 8, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2022

Close Quickview