Silly, messy, fast-paced fun.


From the DJ Funkyfoot series , Vol. 1

DJ Funkyfoot—a butler, not a DJ, despite his parents’ wishes—has a chaotic day babysitting.

DJ Funkyfoot is not a hip-hop star, though it’s “a common mistake.” He is, however, currently unemployed and can’t afford to be too picky about what jobs he takes. The anthropomorphic dog (identified as a Chihuahua in prior volumes of the related Inspector Flytrap series) accepts a job as a nanny to “ShrubBaby, the Adorable Baby Shrub,” whose previous 43 nannies have all quit. The problem, as DJ Funkyfoot explains to ShrubBaby, is that it’s a nanny’s job to say no, but a butler’s job to say yes. If a butler’s charge requests, say, to drive a pickle-relish truck into the pond, the butler must agree. Saying yes to ShrubBaby leads DJ Funkyfoot into constant catastrophes. First he’s covered in pickle relish, then in pickle relish and soda, then in pickle relish, soda, and cake frosting, and finally in pickle relish, soda, cake frosting, and slime. Everything they encounter is exciting, extreme, and ultimate. (DJ Funkyfoot and ShrubBaby appear on both Ultimate Disaster Masters Showdown: Extreme and Extreme Cake Bakers Showdown: Ultimate.) Fox’s two-toned cartoon illustrations of huge-eyed plant and animal characters are supplemented by a few pages of nearly wordless comics panels in this first collaboration between author and illustrator. Repetition and cumulative buildups add to the comedy while giving transitioning readers helpful scaffolding.

Silly, messy, fast-paced fun. (Adventure. 6-9)

Pub Date: March 30, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4197-4728-1

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A nifty high-seas caper for chapter-book readers with a love of adventure and a yearning for treasure.


It’s not truffles but doubloons that tickle this porcine wayfarer’s fancy.

Funke and Meyer make another foray into chapter-book fare after Emma and the Blue Genie (2014). Here, mariner Stout Sam and deckhand Pip eke out a comfortable existence on Butterfly Island ferrying cargo to and fro. Life is good, but it takes an unexpected turn when a barrel washes ashore containing a pig with a skull-and-crossbones pendant around her neck. It soon becomes clear that this little piggy, dubbed Julie, has the ability to sniff out treasure—lots of it—in the sea. The duo is pleased with her skills, but pride goeth before the hog. Stout Sam hands out some baubles to the local children, and his largess attracts the unwanted attention of Barracuda Bill and his nasty minions. Now they’ve pignapped Julie, and it’s up to the intrepid sailors to save the porker and their own bacon. The succinct word count meets the needs of kids looking for early adventure fare. The tale is slight, bouncy, and amusing, though Julie is never the piratical buccaneer the book’s cover seems to suggest. Meanwhile, Meyer’s cheery watercolors are as comfortable diagramming the different parts of a pirate vessel as they are rendering the dread pirate captain himself.

A nifty high-seas caper for chapter-book readers with a love of adventure and a yearning for treasure. (Adventure. 7-9)

Pub Date: June 23, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-37544-3

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Simple text, short chapters, and plenty of illustrations will appeal to emerging readers who prefer just a little shiver...


From the Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol series , Vol. 1

What happens if you move to a new town and your house is haunted? Andres is about to find out!

Andres Miedoso—his last name means “fearful” in Spanish—is “definitely not the coolest and bravest kid in the world.” In fact, Andres likes normal-boring and understands normal-boring, because he is normal-boring. But when the brown-skinned, curly haired Latino child and his family move to Kersville, he finds out his new home is anything but normal-boring. Fortunately, his next-door neighbor, a black boy named Desmond Cole who is the same age as Andres, is “the coolest, bravest kid in the world.” Desmond’s business as stated on his business card is “Ghost Patrol.” How lucky should a boy feel to live in a haunted house? Very—if you’re Desmond. Not so lucky if you’re Andres. But when the ghost eats a lasagna that makes him sick and tells them he’s been moving from house to house, Andres feels sorry and invites the ghost to stay as long as he promises “not to do any spooky stuff.” A deal is struck, a friendship is born, and a new series for chapter-book readers gets off to a good start.

Simple text, short chapters, and plenty of illustrations will appeal to emerging readers who prefer just a little shiver with their story—and to other readers too. (Suspense. 6-9)

Pub Date: Dec. 12, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5344-1039-8

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet