A quiet, unassuming, somewhat uneventful tale reinforcing the adage "there’s no place like home."

A BEND IN THE BREEZE

Stranded on a mysterious island, a young girl wonders if she’ll ever return to her family.

After the ship she’s traveling on with her aunt, uncle, and cousins encounters a storm, 11-year-old Pascale Chardon wakes up alone, adrift in a small boat. The tides carry her to the tiny tropical island of TeJÉ along with her only companion, a black beetle she’s named Inch. Until Pascale’s arrival, the island has never had a visitor, and she’s taken to the village Elders to see if she may be the Long Awaited, a prophesied stranger who will decide the community’s future. The previously uninhabited island was populated generations ago by people from around the world who left their societies in search of peaceful coexistence. Legend says that the islanders’ fate will be determined by whether the Long Awaited finds them living in peace and unity or conflict and strife. Pascale learns she must remain on TeJÉ for 17 days to determine if she’s the Long Awaited; however, she has no clue if she’s the Long Awaited and just wants to go home. Pascale settles into the daily rhythm of a caring, cooperative community, and events seem to unfold glacially, mirroring the idyllic island’s pace of life. When the long-awaited day finally arrives, the conclusion proves quite surprising. Pascale is presumably White; names point to the islanders’ multicultural ancestry.

A quiet, unassuming, somewhat uneventful tale reinforcing the adage "there’s no place like home." (Fantasy. 8-11)

Pub Date: April 19, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-77086-647-8

Page Count: 220

Publisher: DCB

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 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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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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