Silly, messy, fast-paced fun.


From the DJ Funkyfoot series , Vol. 1

DJ Funkyfoot—a butler, not a DJ, despite his parents’ wishes—has a chaotic day babysitting.

DJ Funkyfoot is not a hip-hop star, though it’s “a common mistake.” He is, however, currently unemployed and can’t afford to be too picky about what jobs he takes. The anthropomorphic dog (identified as a Chihuahua in prior volumes of the related Inspector Flytrap series) accepts a job as a nanny to “ShrubBaby, the Adorable Baby Shrub,” whose previous 43 nannies have all quit. The problem, as DJ Funkyfoot explains to ShrubBaby, is that it’s a nanny’s job to say no, but a butler’s job to say yes. If a butler’s charge requests, say, to drive a pickle-relish truck into the pond, the butler must agree. Saying yes to ShrubBaby leads DJ Funkyfoot into constant catastrophes. First he’s covered in pickle relish, then in pickle relish and soda, then in pickle relish, soda, and cake frosting, and finally in pickle relish, soda, cake frosting, and slime. Everything they encounter is exciting, extreme, and ultimate. (DJ Funkyfoot and ShrubBaby appear on both Ultimate Disaster Masters Showdown: Extreme and Extreme Cake Bakers Showdown: Ultimate.) Fox’s two-toned cartoon illustrations of huge-eyed plant and animal characters are supplemented by a few pages of nearly wordless comics panels in this first collaboration between author and illustrator. Repetition and cumulative buildups add to the comedy while giving transitioning readers helpful scaffolding.

Silly, messy, fast-paced fun. (Adventure. 6-9)

Pub Date: March 30, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4197-4728-1

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2021

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Multiple taps transform a giggling block of wood in Geppetto’s workshop into a skinny, loose jointed puppet that suddenly...


Unusually brisk special effects animate this relatively less satiric but equally amusing adaptation of the classic tale.

Multiple taps transform a giggling block of wood in Geppetto’s workshop into a skinny, loose jointed puppet that suddenly delivers a Bronx cheer and then whirls away on a long series of misadventures. These culminate in a final change into a flesh-and-blood boy with help from a fingertip “paintbrush.” Quick and responsive touch- or tilt-activated features range from controllable marionettes, Pinocchio’s tattletale nose and Fire-Eater’s explosive sneeze to a movable candle that illuminates both Geppetto in the fish’s dark belly and the accompanying block of text. Even the thumbnail page images of the index (which opens any time with a shake of the tablet) tumble about, somehow without falling out of order. Though transitions are almost nonexistent in the episodic plot, the text is both substantial enough to have a definite presence and artfully placed in and around Conversi’s brightly colored settings and toylike figures. Text is available in English or Italian with a clear, understated optional audio narration backed by unobtrusive music. A link on the credits page leads to downloadable coloring sheets on the producer’s website.

Pub Date: March 17, 2011


Page Count: -

Publisher: Elastico srl

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2011

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A story of friendship that is both lively and lovely


From the Kondo & Kezumi series , Vol. 1

Two friends embark upon a high-seas adventure.

Kondo, a large lemon-colored creature with wide round eyes, spends his day on his island home with his best friend, tangerine-hued Kezumi. Together, they frolic on their idyllic isle picking berries (tall Kondo nabs the higher fruit while Kezumi helps to retrieve the lower) while surrounded by tiny “flitter-birds” and round “fluffle-bunnies.” One day, Kezumi finds a map in a bottle that declares “WE ARE NOT ALONE.” Inspired by visions of a larger world, Kondo and Kezumi fashion a boat from a bathtub and set sail. The pair visits fantastical islands—deliciously cheese-laden Dairy Isle, the fiery and fearsome Fireskull Island—until they eventually settle upon the titular Giant Island, where they meet Albert, a gigantic gray talking mountain who is—obviously—unable to leave. Enthralled by his new friends, Albert wants them to stay forever. After Albert makes a fraught decision, Kondo and Kezumi find themselves at a crossroads and must confront their new friend. Goodner and Tsurumi’s brightly illustrated chapter book should find favor with fans of Kate DiCamillo and Chris Van Dusen’s similarly designed Mercy Watson series. Short, wry, descriptive sentences make for an equally enjoyable experience whether read aloud or independently. Episodic chapters move the action along jauntily; the conclusion is somewhat abrupt, but it promises more exploration and adventures for the best friends. (This review was originally published in the June 1, 2019, issue. The book data has been updated to reflect changes in publisher and date of publication.)

A story of friendship that is both lively and lovely (Fantasy. 6-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 27, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-368-02577-5

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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