Powerful pussycat perfection!

CAT NINJA

From the Cat Ninja series , Vol. 1

Who can save the city and meme his way into the hearts of all? Cat Ninja!

Metro City has no idea that its adorable yet deadly protector Cat Ninja is but a humble house cat by day. Leon’s cat, Claude, appears ordinary enough, but when Master Hamster threatens everyone’s bank accounts from his hamster-ball–headed super robot body, Claude becomes Cat Ninja, using the skills he learned as a kitten watching ninja movies with a kindly old lady—who became a ninja crime fighter when attacked. Yes, there are villains everywhere for Cat Ninja to fight, but Leon is having a rough time too. His parents are just beginning divorce proceedings; he and his sister, Marcie, hate having two houses and the way their parents separately vie for their attention. While the family drama plays out, Cat Ninja is busy keeping the city safe from the Raccoon Bros and Chat Noir, but is our kitty hero up to beating a supervillain menace who’s arming the city’s baddies? Cody’s hyperbolic superhero-movie narration and Mercado’s vibrant, dynamic panels hit the sweet spot, marrying humor and heroics. Leon, Marcie, and their mom all have beige skin; the kids’ dad presents White. A short comic featuring villain Fury Roach penned by Colleen AF Venable and a humorous quiz close what readers will hope is but the first outing for Cat Ninja.

Powerful pussycat perfection! (Graphic fantasy. 7-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5248-6094-3

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2020

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A witty addition to the long-running series.

THE DEEP END

From the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series , Vol. 15

The Wimpy Kid hits the road.

The Heffley clan has been stuck living together in Gramma’s basement for two months, waiting for the family home to be repaired, and the constant togetherness has been getting on everybody’s nerves. Luckily Greg’s Uncle Gary has a camper waiting for someone to use it, and so the Heffleys set off on the open road looking for an adventurous vacation, hoping the changing scenery will bring a spark back to the family unit. The winding road leads the Heffleys to a sprawling RV park, a setting teeming with possibilities for Greg to get up to his usual shenanigans. Greg’s snarky asides and misadventures continue to entertain. At this point the Wimpy Kid books run like a well-oiled machine, paced perfectly with witty lines, smart gags, and charming cartoons. Kinney knows just where to put a joke, the precise moment to give a character shading, and exactly how to get the narrative rolling, spinning out the oddest plot developments. The appreciation Kinney has for these characters seeps through the novels, endearing the Heffleys to readers even through this title, the 15th installment in a franchise boasting spinoffs, movies, and merchandise. There may come a time when Greg and his family overstay their welcome, but thankfully that day still seems far off.

A witty addition to the long-running series. (Humor. 7-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 27, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4197-4868-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2020

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Utterly believable, this bittersweet story, complete with an author’s note identifying the real Ivan, will inspire a new...

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THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN

How Ivan confronts his harrowing past yet stays true to his nature exemplifies everything youngsters need to know about courage.

Living in a "domain" of glass, metal and cement at the Big Top Mall, Ivan sometimes forgets whether to act like a gorilla or a human—except Ivan does not think much of humans. He describes their behavior as frantic, whereas he is a peaceful artist. Fittingly, Ivan narrates his tale in short, image-rich sentences and acute, sometimes humorous, observations that are all the more heartbreaking for their simple delivery. His sorrow is palpable, but he stoically endures the cruelty of humans until Ruby the baby elephant is abused. In a pivotal scene, Ivan finally admits his domain is a cage, and rather than let Ruby live and die in grim circumstances, he promises to save her. In order to express his plea in a painting, Ivan must bravely face buried memories of the lush jungle, his family and their brutal murder, which is recounted in a brief, powerful chapter sure to arouse readers’ passions. In a compelling ending, the more challenging question Applegate poses is whether or not Ivan will remember what it was like to be a gorilla. Spot art captures poignant moments throughout.

Utterly believable, this bittersweet story, complete with an author’s note identifying the real Ivan, will inspire a new generation of advocates. (author’s note) (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Jan. 17, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-06-199225-4

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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