It’s not hard to imagine that the Grimms are rolling over in their graves—with laughter.

FAIRY TALES FROM THE BROTHERS GRIMM

From the Muppets Meet the Classics series

The Muppets take on the tales of the Brothers Grimm

Cast members of the original Muppet Show, from the stars to the obscure, run around in the prologue getting ready for a performance, much as they did on television in the 1970s. Miss Piggy demands a private dressing room. Gonzo crashes through the ceiling. Kermit and Scooter rush around helping and controlling. What follows when the curtain rises are 18 fractured fairy tales (and these are compound fractures). Fozzie stars in a gender-flipped “Little Red-Cap” called “Not-So-Little Red Cap,” his bad jokes well-represented. Miss Piggy is the put-upon daughter of the miller who must spin straw into gold for a greedy king (Dr. Teeth—three guesses where the gold will go) in “Unclestiltskin.” Janice makes a most excellent Rapunzel, and Kermit (of course) a chipper frog prince. Humor both wry and broad is in abundance, and there are plenty of one-liners aimed at adults, making this a nifty collection of stories to read together. Genially foolish illustrations precede every tale, and the original tale titles appear under the Muppetized ones.

It’s not hard to imagine that the Grimms are rolling over in their graves—with laughter. (Fiction. 5-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 9, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-451-53438-5

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: Aug. 14, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2018

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This story covers the few days preceding the much-anticipated Midnight Zombie Walk, when Stink and company will take to the...

STINK AND THE MIDNIGHT ZOMBIE WALK

From the Stink series

An all-zombie-all-the-time zombiefest, featuring a bunch of grade-school kids, including protagonist Stink and his happy comrades.

This story covers the few days preceding the much-anticipated Midnight Zombie Walk, when Stink and company will take to the streets in the time-honored stiff-armed, stiff-legged fashion. McDonald signals her intent on page one: “Stink and Webster were playing Attack of the Knitting Needle Zombies when Fred Zombie’s eye fell off and rolled across the floor.” The farce is as broad as the Atlantic, with enough spookiness just below the surface to provide the all-important shivers. Accompanied by Reynolds’ drawings—dozens of scene-setting gems with good, creepy living dead—McDonald shapes chapters around zombie motifs: making zombie costumes, eating zombie fare at school, reading zombie books each other to reach the one-million-minutes-of-reading challenge. When the zombie walk happens, it delivers solid zombie awfulness. McDonald’s feel-good tone is deeply encouraging for readers to get up and do this for themselves because it looks like so much darned fun, while the sub-message—that reading grows “strong hearts and minds,” as well as teeth and bones—is enough of a vital interest to the story line to be taken at face value.

Pub Date: March 13, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7636-5692-8

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2012

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An uncomplicated opener, with some funny bits and a clear but not heavy agenda.

BOOKMARKS ARE PEOPLE TOO!

From the Here's Hank series , Vol. 1

Hank Zipzer, poster boy for dyslexic middle graders everywhere, stars in a new prequel series highlighting second-grade trials and triumphs.

Hank’s hopes of playing Aqua Fly, a comic-book character, in the upcoming class play founder when, despite plenty of coaching and preparation, he freezes up during tryouts. He is not particularly comforted when his sympathetic teacher adds a nonspeaking role as a bookmark to the play just for him. Following the pattern laid down in his previous appearances as an older child, he gets plenty of help and support from understanding friends (including Ashley Wong, a new apartment-house neighbor). He even manages to turn lemons into lemonade with a quick bit of improv when Nick “the Tick” McKelty, the sneering classmate who took his preferred role, blanks on his lines during the performance. As the aforementioned bully not only chokes in the clutch and gets a demeaning nickname, but is fat, boastful and eats like a pig, the authors’ sensitivity is rather one-sided. Still, Hank has a winning way of bouncing back from adversity, and like the frequent black-and-white line-and-wash drawings, the typeface is designed with easy legibility in mind.

An uncomplicated opener, with some funny bits and a clear but not heavy agenda. (Fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: Feb. 14, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-448-48239-2

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: Dec. 11, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

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