A very funny, solid little side quest with great characters.

JUNE'S WILD FLIGHT

From the Last Kids on Earth series , Vol. 6

A special solo adventure following The Midnight Blade (2019) for intrepid reporter June Del Toro.

During the middle of an equipment test, the “last kids” of the series title are interrupted by a band of banditlike Rifters chasing a mysterious creature. In the chaos, June’s DoomKart ends up dragged far away before she can liberate herself for a solo adventure—well, almost solo, as cute mascot-type character Globlet joins her. They follow a scream and find the creature, cornered by the Rifters—who plan to take it to Thrull, instrumental in the takeover of the Earth. After a daring, explosive rescue, June realizes the creature’s a baby Winged Wretch—but unlike other Wretches June’s encountered, he’s not evil, so she decides to help him get back to his kind. Along the way, her party is rounded out by comic-relief character Johnny Steve, an “oversized-owl dude” and a self-proclaimed expert on humans with hilariously wrong facts. They face dangerous obstacles and reversals before a strong theme of belonging and interconnection emerges to add heart to the jokes and action, a theme that emphasizes June’s separation from the original cast and harks back to the first book. The art is well integrated into the story, especially helpful in blocking the frequent action sequences. The ending pushes along the series’ overall storyline. June is implied to be Latinx; Quint appears black; Dirk and Jack seem white.

A very funny, solid little side quest with great characters. (Horror/adventure. 8-12)

Pub Date: April 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-11718-7

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

Dizzyingly silly.

CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS AND THE TYRANNICAL RETALIATION OF THE TURBO TOILET 2000

From the Captain Underpants series , Vol. 11

The famous superhero returns to fight another villain with all the trademark wit and humor the series is known for.

Despite the title, Captain Underpants is bizarrely absent from most of this adventure. His school-age companions, George and Harold, maintain most of the spotlight. The creative chums fool around with time travel and several wacky inventions before coming upon the evil Turbo Toilet 2000, making its return for vengeance after sitting out a few of the previous books. When the good Captain shows up to save the day, he brings with him dynamic action and wordplay that meet the series’ standards. The Captain Underpants saga maintains its charm even into this, the 11th volume. The epic is filled to the brim with sight gags, toilet humor, flip-o-ramas and anarchic glee. Holding all this nonsense together is the author’s good-natured sense of harmless fun. The humor is never gross or over-the-top, just loud and innocuous. Adults may roll their eyes here and there, but youngsters will eat this up just as quickly as they devoured every other Underpants episode.

Dizzyingly silly. (Humor. 8-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 26, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-545-50490-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

more