Gentle, occasionally funny furry adventures for those just ready for chapter books.

SUPERCAT VS. THE FRY THIEF

Have no fear, Supercat is here!

James Jones wanted an exciting pet, like a polar bear or a panther. What he got was a fat, orange tabby cat from the rescue shelter. No matter what James does, he can’t get Tiger to play along with his make-believe games. Then one day, while James is at school, Tiger devours a French fry and a moldy sock from under James’ bed—and suddenly, Tiger has superpowers. He can talk; he can even speak French. He can leap and fight and create his own costume. When James gets home and gets over the shock, the two set out to fight crime like Tigerman, James’ favorite comic-book hero. When the two stop to refuel with a snack of French fries, they discover a worldwide tater shortage has made the cost skyrocket. Could Count Backwards, Tigerman’s nemesis, be behind the shortage? More importantly can the duo keep Tiger’s abilities a secret from James’ nosy, pushy little sister, Mimi? Prolific British children’s author Willis kicks off a new series with a slow-out-of-the-gate origin story. Field’s abundant cartoon drawings add to the length and the appeal, but jokey superhero cats have been done better in Dan Santat’s Sidekicks (2011) and Ashley Spires’ Binky the Space Cat books.

Gentle, occasionally funny furry adventures for those just ready for chapter books. (Fantasy. 6-9)

Pub Date: March 24, 2015

ISBN: 978-000-758596-0

Page Count: 224

Publisher: HarperCollins 360

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2014

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A hilarious but enlightening guide to the online world—the good, the bad, and the ugly.

BAD KITTY GETS A PHONE (GRAPHIC NOVEL)

A craving for the latest tech leads to cat-astrophe in this new addition to the Bad Kitty series.

With her heart set on owning a cellphone, anthropomorphic house cat Kitty plows through three solid months of chores without complaining before her owners reluctantly grant her fervent wish. Then things go rapidly downhill. She becomes obsessed with violent mobile games, gets catfished (no pun intended), divulges too much personal information online, becomes consumed with rage at cyberbullies, and grows listless from excessive screen time. Only after the intervention of a Sphynx cat named Strange Kitty and a monthlong technology fast enforced by her owners does Kitty come to understand that while smartphones are fun, they can also be a serious distraction from real life and true friends. Using a digestible graphic-novel format, the book tackles internet safety and digital media literacy with purr-fect aplomb. The “Uncle Murray’s Fun Facts” section serves as a deep dive into the differences between facts and opinions, and many of Kitty’s quirky feline behaviors ring true. It’s unfortunate that the word lame—a disability-related term with negative connotations—is used by the internet trolls who deride the video Kitty makes and posts on “ViewTube.” Occasional misstep aside, Kitty’s tribulations provide ample fodder for this instructive and amusing tale.

A hilarious but enlightening guide to the online world—the good, the bad, and the ugly. (Graphic novel. 6-9)

Pub Date: Dec. 28, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-74996-3

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: Nov. 16, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2021

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This outing lacks the sophistication of such category standards as Clementine; here’s hoping English amps things up for...

DOG DAYS

From the Carver Chronicles series , Vol. 1

A gentle voice and familiar pitfalls characterize this tale of a boy navigating the risky road to responsibility. 

Gavin is new to his neighborhood and Carver Elementary. He likes his new friend, Richard, and has a typically contentious relationship with his older sister, Danielle. When Gavin’s desire to impress Richard sets off a disastrous chain of events, the boy struggles to evade responsibility for his actions. “After all, it isn’t his fault that Danielle’s snow globe got broken. Sure, he shouldn’t have been in her room—but then, she shouldn’t be keeping candy in her room to tempt him. Anybody would be tempted. Anybody!” opines Gavin once he learns the punishment for his crime. While Gavin has a charming Everyboy quality, and his aversion to Aunt Myrtle’s yapping little dog rings true, little about Gavin distinguishes him from other trouble-prone protagonists. He is, regrettably, forgettable. Coretta Scott King Honor winner English (Francie, 1999) is a teacher whose storytelling usually benefits from her day job. Unfortunately, the pizzazz of classroom chaos is largely absent from this series opener.

This outing lacks the sophistication of such category standards as Clementine; here’s hoping English amps things up for subsequent volumes. (Fiction. 6-9)

Pub Date: Dec. 17, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-547-97044-8

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 2, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2013

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