Mind-bending, in the best possible way.

PERSPECTIVES

From the Cat Kid Comic Club series , Vol. 2

Li’l Petey and the young frogs of the Cat Kid Comic Club return for a second session that intersperses classroom and family drama with the froglets’ own comics.

This week’s lesson is perspective, both the graphical kind and the broad concept. The latter is perhaps best articulated by the froglets’ dad, Flippy, as he adjudicates Melvin and Naomi’s sibling bickering: “PERSPECTIVE isn’t just about DRAWING!!!…It’s about seeing the world from someone ELSE’S point of view!!!” Indeed, lessons in perspective abound: Curly and Gilbert’s Time Wasters comic reveals the Great Chicago Fire to have been a crashing bore…to time-traveling frog-kids who spent it playing video games; Poppy’s Skelopup gently shows how a dead dog and a dead girl, both grieving the losses of their former companions, find comfort over time through sharing their feelings with one another; and Summer and Starla’s Shodo Gardens readjusts assumptions with a series of haiku paired with photographs. Melvin and Naomi’s journey to détente, which forms the volume’s narrative throughline, includes an examination of unearned male privilege. Sharing coloring duties with Garibaldi, Pilkey deftly applies his trademark sly mix of revelation and in-your-face zaniness in busy, froglet-filled panels that take advantage of the anthology format to showcase comics’ versatility.

Mind-bending, in the best possible way. (notes and fun facts) (Graphic fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 30, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-338-78485-5

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 15, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2022

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Telgemeier’s bold colors, superior visual storytelling, and unusual subject matter will keep readers emotionally engaged and...

GHOSTS

Catrina narrates the story of her mixed-race (Latino/white) family’s move from Southern California to Bahía de la Luna on the Northern California coast.

Dad has a new job, but it’s little sister Maya’s lungs that motivate the move: she has had cystic fibrosis since birth—a degenerative breathing condition. Despite her health, Maya loves adventure, even if her lungs suffer for it and even when Cat must follow to keep her safe. When Carlos, a tall, brown, and handsome teen Ghost Tour guide introduces the sisters to the Bahía ghosts—most of whom were Spanish-speaking Mexicans when alive—they fascinate Maya and she them, but the terrified Cat wants only to get herself and Maya back to safety. When the ghost adventure leads to Maya’s hospitalization, Cat blames both herself and Carlos, which makes seeing him at school difficult. As Cat awakens to the meaning of Halloween and Day of the Dead in this strange new home, she comes to understand the importance of the ghosts both to herself and to Maya. Telgemeier neatly balances enough issues that a lesser artist would split them into separate stories and delivers as much delight textually as visually. The backmatter includes snippets from Telgemeier’s sketchbook and a photo of her in Día makeup.

Telgemeier’s bold colors, superior visual storytelling, and unusual subject matter will keep readers emotionally engaged and unable to put down this compelling tale. (Graphic fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-545-54061-2

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016

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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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