Get set for gags aplenty…and not just the visual sort.


From the Geronimo Stilton Graphic Novels series , Vol. 2

A missing coffin isn’t the only mystery on Geronimo Stilton’s plate.

Moldy mozzarella! In the wake of a pretend (or perhaps real!) heist, a mystery-themed dinner at Creepella Cacklefur’s castle quickly devolves into a mad rush from one hidden clue to the next. This is punctuated by courses ranging from toad slime and kraken tentacles to mystery giblets on a stick, all dished up by guest chef Boffo Flambé. There are also encounters with werecanaries and a horde of howling werewolf slugs, not to mention moat slime, cave slime, and (perhaps worst of all) sloth snot sorbet for dessert. (Readers will sympathize with our hero’s reluctance to partake, a running gag throughout.) Alert readers will doubtless detect a theme, and Angleberger’s just the one to amplify it with big sequential panels both decked out in loud colors and packed with a rodent cartoon cast that is drawn with manic energy and, often, covered in gooey gloobs. “I had slime for dinner,” Geronimo Stilton laments. “Now slime is having me for dinner!” Based on an episode published in Italy but not in the U.S. and so new even to series fans on this side of the Atlantic, the latest graphic caper from the mild-mannered journalist/sleuth will slide off the shelves whenever a slightly scary tale or, for that matter, a general grossfest is in order.

Get set for gags aplenty…and not just the visual sort. (Graphic mystery. 7-9)

Pub Date: Feb. 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-338-58735-7

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Jan. 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2021

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What a wag.

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From the Dog Man series , Vol. 1

What do you get from sewing the head of a smart dog onto the body of a tough police officer? A new superhero from the incorrigible creator of Captain Underpants.

Finding a stack of old Dog Mancomics that got them in trouble back in first grade, George and Harold decide to craft a set of new(ish) adventures with (more or less) improved art and spelling. These begin with an origin tale (“A Hero Is Unleashed”), go on to a fiendish attempt to replace the chief of police with a “Robo Chief” and then a temporarily successful scheme to make everyone stupid by erasing all the words from every book (“Book ’Em, Dog Man”), and finish off with a sort of attempted alien invasion evocatively titled “Weenie Wars: The Franks Awaken.” In each, Dog Man squares off against baddies (including superinventor/archnemesis Petey the cat) and saves the day with a clever notion. With occasional pauses for Flip-O-Rama featurettes, the tales are all framed in brightly colored sequential panels with hand-lettered dialogue (“How do you feel, old friend?” “Ruff!”) and narrative. The figures are studiously diverse, with police officers of both genders on view and George, the chief, and several other members of the supporting cast colored in various shades of brown. Pilkey closes as customary with drawing exercises, plus a promise that the canine crusader will be further unleashed in a sequel.

What a wag. (Graphic fantasy. 7-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-545-58160-8

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 1, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

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Nicely paced, with just the right number of red herrings to keep readers thinking; they will hope the number 1 on the spine...


From the Whodunit Detective Agency series , Vol. 1

Jerry and Maya, classmates and friends, spend their spare time solving mysteries in their hometown of Pleasant Valley in this Swedish import.

Things are not so pleasant for Mohammed Carat, the richest man in Pleasant Valley. His world-famous jewelry store is losing money; apparently, one of his employees is stealing valuable diamonds and gems. The police are no help, so Mr. Carat turns to the youngsters for help. Each employee is a suspect: Vivian is in money trouble, former owner Danny wants his store back, and Luke’s flashy spending is suspicious. Jerry and Maya are hired to help out around the shop—washing windows, taking out the trash and so forth—but really they are there to watch the employees, both from inside the shop and from the church tower next door. Young mystery aficionados will enjoy solving the puzzle along with Maya and Jerry and will admire their observational powers. Full-color cartoon illustrations add much to the story, helping readers to see what the young gumshoes do. A map of Pleasant Valley and an illustrated cast of characters are provided in the early pages, allowing new readers an excellent reference tool to keep the many characters straight.

Nicely paced, with just the right number of red herrings to keep readers thinking; they will hope the number 1 on the spine indicates that this is the first of many Maya and Jerry mysteries. (Mystery. 7-9)

Pub Date: July 31, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-448-48067-1

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 28, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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