Fantastic, frenetic fun for comics and kitty fans.

TIME HEIST

From the Cat Ninja series , Vol. 2

A barrage of baddies comes for Cat Ninja.

Mild-mannered Claude the cat lives with Leon and Marcie Kwon and their mother; but when the city is threatened, Claude becomes Cat Ninja! (Only the kids know his secret.) Aided by former criminal mastermind Mr. Squeak (once known as Master Hamster), Cat Ninja fights the mind-controlling King Crab. Things get complicated with the hatching of Hoot, a superstrong owlet that Leon brought home from school as an egg (he thought it was a chicken egg). With Hoot’s help, Cat Ninja bests Electric Eel, Mecha Mechano, and Rhino Blasty, but the thing about this new wave of villains is that they only seem to be interested in attacking Cat Ninja. Apparently there is a bounty on his head. When Hoot’s father, Chronowl, arrives from the year 3021 they find out who is behind the attacks, their true target…and that all the world is at stake. This second collection of Cat Ninja digital comics (Nos. 6 through 10) is, if anything, more fun than the first. Bright, action-stuffed panels drawn by Thomas and colored by Wucinich don’t skimp on the visual gags. The Kwons are cued as Korean, and their community is diverse. Backmatter includes a sketchbook and superhero and supervillain name generators.

Fantastic, frenetic fun for comics and kitty fans. (Graphic fantasy. 7-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 12, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5248-6808-6

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2021

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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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