GULLY’S TRAVELS

“The Real Pooches of NYC.” Privileged professor’s pup Gulliver (who sometimes endures the attentions of well-meaning riffraff who address him as “Gully”) enjoys opera, Prime Premium dog food and his salmon-pink, turquoise-and-silver-studded collar. But when his owner shows a preference for a relationship of the human variety, Gully is sent to live in “shabby” Astoria, Queens, where he is treated like—well—a dog! The supercilious, lap-of-luxury Lhasa apso is devastated, but determined to escape. An unlikely and exhausting series of twists and turns doesn’t end with Gulliver’s dogicidal leap from the 59th Street Bridge, but with even more wild coincidence and a canine-interest story in the (sniff!) Daily News. Seidler’s tale is rife with the risk his characters often undertake in search of honest affection and their rightful places in life. The dog, the professor and Gulliver’s rescuer all come away with altered appreciations and aspirations. Cole’s remarkable pen-and-ink sketches evoke the work of French impressionists and add dimension, wit and wry humor to this far-fetched doggy tail—uh—tale. (Fantasy. 8-11)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-545-02506-5

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Michael di Capua/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2008

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THE FIRST CAT IN SPACE ATE PIZZA

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. 9, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2022

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Dizzyingly silly.

CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS AND THE TYRANNICAL RETALIATION OF THE TURBO TOILET 2000

From the Captain Underpants series , Vol. 11

The famous superhero returns to fight another villain with all the trademark wit and humor the series is known for.

Despite the title, Captain Underpants is bizarrely absent from most of this adventure. His school-age companions, George and Harold, maintain most of the spotlight. The creative chums fool around with time travel and several wacky inventions before coming upon the evil Turbo Toilet 2000, making its return for vengeance after sitting out a few of the previous books. When the good Captain shows up to save the day, he brings with him dynamic action and wordplay that meet the series’ standards. The Captain Underpants saga maintains its charm even into this, the 11th volume. The epic is filled to the brim with sight gags, toilet humor, flip-o-ramas and anarchic glee. Holding all this nonsense together is the author’s good-natured sense of harmless fun. The humor is never gross or over-the-top, just loud and innocuous. Adults may roll their eyes here and there, but youngsters will eat this up just as quickly as they devoured every other Underpants episode.

Dizzyingly silly. (Humor. 8-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 26, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-545-50490-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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