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From the Mabel Jones series , Vol. 2

If this is the future, count child fans in.

Crepuscular carnivores! Hypnotized egrets! Amputated bottoms! The pajama-clad child pirate Mabel Jones is back for her latest adventure.

Though just a child, Mabel has dealt with magic before (The Unlikely Adventures of Mabel Jones, 2015). She’s nevertheless surprised when vines make off with her baby sister, Maggie. Following their trail, Mabel plunges through time into a future Earth where humans have disappeared and animals reign supreme. To recover her sister, Mabel must pair once again with fellow “hooman snuglet” Jarvis and veteran goat pirate Pelf. The journey to the titular Forbidden City (read: NYC) where Maggie is held means pairing too with the adventurers Speke, a jolly otter with all the acumen of a Bertie Wooster, and Carruthers, a pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps badger. Naturally, the waterways are thick with peril. Naturally, they must face a baddie of towering nastiness. And naturally, it will take a great deal of sacrifice on Mabel’s part to reach a happy ending. As with the first novel, the narrator who haunts this book’s pages isn’t just intrusive. It’s likely to sit on your lap and make snide comments about the nits in your hair. The result is wordplay that dances and teases, making every page an act of high entertainment. With this sequel, the humor is higher and the gross-out jokes less frequent than in the opener, and the adventure is pleasingly heart-pounding.

If this is the future, count child fans in. (Adventure. 8-11)

Pub Date: Feb. 9, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-451-47197-0

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2015

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From the Captain Underpants series , Vol. 11

Dizzyingly silly.

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 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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A dramatic, educational, authentic whale of a tale.

After a tsunami devastates their habitat in the Salish Sea, a young orca and her brother embark on a remarkable adventure.

Vega’s matriarchal family expects her to become a hunter and wayfinder, with her younger brother, Deneb, protecting and supporting her. Invited to guide her family to their Gathering Place to hunt salmon, Vega’s underwater miscalculations endanger them all, and an embarrassed Vega questions whether she should be a wayfinder. When the baby sister she hoped would become her life companion is stillborn, a distraught Vega carries the baby away to a special resting place, shocking her grieving family. Dispatched to find his missing sister, Deneb locates Vega in the midst of a terrible tsunami. To escape the waters polluted by shattered boats, Vega leads Deneb into unfamiliar open sea. Alone and hungry, the young siblings encounter a spectacular giant whale and travel briefly with shark-hunting orcas. Trusting her instincts and gaining emotional strength from contemplating the vastness of the sky, Vega knows she must lead her brother home and help save her surviving family. In alternating first-person voices, Vega and Deneb tell their harrowing story, engaging young readers while educating them about the marine ecosystem. Realistic black-and-white illustrations enhance the maritime setting.

A dramatic, educational, authentic whale of a tale. (maps, wildlife facts, tribes of the Salish Sea watershed, environmental and geographical information, how to help orcas, author’s note, artist’s note, resources) (Animal fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-299592-6

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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