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KEEP ON TRUCKIN'

From the Rocket and Groot series , Vol. 2

Beware giant raccoon-eating sharks and enormous beavers! (Science fiction. 7-11)

Escaping a planet-sized strip mall was a snap compared to surviving a planet full of computer-controlled vehicles running amok.

Guardians of the Galaxy Rocket Raccoon and Groot and their sidekick, superintelligent tape dispenser Veronica, are out of fuel and forced to land on planet Happyhappyfunfun—but cars and trucks of all kinds attack them every time they set down. Planetary president Dina the Wonder Lizard explains (from the cave where she’s hiding) that Big Mama, the safety computer that controls all the self-driving cars, is seriously buggy: its download of an update was crossed with every bad race car–driving action movie ever made. Dina enlists the help of Rocket and Groot to stop Big Mama, but the computer intends to see the streets run red with blood (and Groot’s sap). Can our intrepid heroes survive—and refuel? Following series opener Stranded on Planet Stripmall! (2016), Angleberger returns with another gonzo adventure full of mayhem and impossibly action-errific narrow escapes. The story is written in the form of Rocket’s captain’s log, with plenty of “I am Groot” interjections and snarky comments from Veronica (and a few denizens of the planet too), with each character’s voice presented in a different typeface and often color, and is liberally decorated with Angleberger’s scribbly cartoons. Readers too young for the PG-13 movies or the adult-oriented comics will enjoy this age-appropriate and entirely silly adventure.

Beware giant raccoon-eating sharks and enormous beavers! (Science fiction. 7-11)

Pub Date: April 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4847-8141-8

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Marvel Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

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THE BAD GUYS

From the Bad Guys series , Vol. 1

We challenge anyone to read this and keep a straight face.

Four misunderstood villains endeavor to turn over a new leaf…or a new rap sheet in Blabey's frenzied romp.

As readers open the first page of this early chapter book, Mr. Wolf is right there to greet them, bemoaning his reputation. "Just because I've got BIG POINTY TEETH and RAZOR-SHARP CLAWS and I occasionally like to dress up like an OLD LADY, that doesn't mean… / … I'm a BAD GUY." To prove this very fact, Mr. Wolf enlists three equally slandered friends into the Good Guys Club: Mr. Snake (aka the Chicken Swallower), Mr. Piranha (aka the Butt Biter), and Mr. Shark (aka Jaws). After some convincing from Mr. Wolf, the foursome sets off determined to un-smirch their names (and reluctantly curbing their appetites). Although these predators find that not everyone is ready to be at the receiving end of their helpful efforts, they use all their Bad Guy know-how to manage a few hilarious good deeds. Blabey has hit the proverbial nail on the head, kissed it full on the mouth, and handed it a stick of Acme dynamite. With illustrations that startle in their manic comedy and deadpan direct address and with a narrative that follows four endearingly sardonic characters trying to push past (sometimes successfully) their fear-causing natures, this book instantly joins the classic ranks of Captain Underpants and The Stinky Cheese Man.

We challenge anyone to read this and keep a straight face. (Fiction. 7-11)

Pub Date: Jan. 3, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-545-91240-2

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 18, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2016

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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

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