An exciting, engaging read.

THE BOOK OF STOLEN TIME

From the Feylawn Chronicles series , Vol. 2

Rufus and Abigail are again thrust into a wild adventure as they try to stop the goblins from destroying Feylawn and the magic it holds.

The beginning of summer was exciting for Rufus Takada Collins, what with saving the fairylike feylings and helping them return to their world. But his family still wants to sell Feylawn, Grandpa Jack’s farm, and Rufus is now stuck at a two-week camp for young entrepreneurs with his cousin, Abigail. One day, when the cousins manage to visit the farm, the feylings warn that a badness is coming and tell of four impossible tasks they must complete to save it. Their parents announce they want to sell to a man who is actually a goblin in disguise, bringing urgency to their challenge. As they get further into their quest and encounter a two-faced monster, a time cabinet, and a moving meadow, they realize there is far more to the story than they realized. Full of magical creatures, action, and adventure, this is an entertaining duology closer. With the unexpected return of familiar characters, betrayals, and a few twists, the story will keep readers on their toes. Rufus and Abigail learn real-world lessons, such as what it means to sacrifice, persevere, and be true to themselves. The previous volume established the cousins as biracial: Rufus is White and Japanese, and Abigail is White and Mexican.

An exciting, engaging read. (map) (Fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 15, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-374-30648-9

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Nov. 16, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2021

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Is this the end? Well, no…the series will stagger on through at least one more scheduled sequel.

CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS AND THE TERRIFYING RETURN OF TIPPY TINKLETROUSERS

From the Captain Underpants series , Vol. 9

Sure signs that the creative wells are running dry at last, the Captain’s ninth, overstuffed outing both recycles a villain (see Book 4) and offers trendy anti-bullying wish fulfillment.

Not that there aren’t pranks and envelope-pushing quips aplenty. To start, in an alternate ending to the previous episode, Principal Krupp ends up in prison (“…a lot like being a student at Jerome Horwitz Elementary School, except that the prison had better funding”). There, he witnesses fellow inmate Tippy Tinkletrousers (aka Professor Poopypants) escape in a giant Robo-Suit (later reduced to time-traveling trousers). The villain sets off after George and Harold, who are in juvie (“not much different from our old school…except that they have library books here.”). Cut to five years previous, in a prequel to the whole series. George and Harold link up in kindergarten to reduce a quartet of vicious bullies to giggling insanity with a relentless series of pranks involving shaving cream, spiders, effeminate spoof text messages and friendship bracelets. Pilkey tucks both topical jokes and bathroom humor into the cartoon art, and ups the narrative’s lexical ante with terms like “pharmaceuticals” and “theatrical flair.” Unfortunately, the bullies’ sad fates force Krupp to resign, so he’s not around to save the Earth from being destroyed later on by Talking Toilets and other invaders…

Is this the end? Well, no…the series will stagger on through at least one more scheduled sequel. (Fantasy. 10-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-545-17534-0

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 20, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2012

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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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