WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU'RE EXPECTING LARVAE

A GUIDE FOR INSECT PARENTS (AND CURIOUS KIDS)

From the Expecting Animal Babies series

A spoof on the popular parenting books, this answers the burning questions of insect parents-to-be and is chock full of fascinating (and sometimes disgusting) facts that are sure to grab human readers’ interest. From where to lay the eggs and how many there will be, to what the larvae will eat, what will eat them and how they will stay safe, this covers it all for butterflies, bees, moths, flies, beetles and mosquitoes. Folding in facts comes easily to Heos, for whom this is her first picture book. She manages to pack in explanations of survival, the food chain, camouflage, disguise and metamorphosis. There’s even a little history lesson involving beetles and book glue. Throughout, the tongue-in-cheek humor will keep readers engaged, while the facts and vocabulary will please educators. What Jorisch’s brilliantly colored insects lack in realism, they more than make up for in personality. The anthropomorphized bugs add to the tongue-in-cheek parody and also provide some great mnemonics for remembering the information presented. Backmatter includes a glossary, selected bibliography and a list of resources for further reading. Lumping together the many insects whose life cycles include the larval stage makes this more of an overview/introduction rather than a resource, but it is a humorous one certain to entertain and maybe even spark some interest. (Informational picture book. 6-11)

Pub Date: April 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-7613-5858-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Millbrook

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2011

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THE FIRST CAT IN SPACE ATE PIZZA

Will extragalactic rats eat the moon?

Can a cybernetic toenail clipper find a worthy purpose in the vast universe? Will the first feline astronaut ever get a slice of pizza? Read on. Reworked from the Live Cartoon series of homespun video shorts released on Instagram in 2020 but retaining that “we’re making this up as we go” quality, the episodic tale begins with the electrifying discovery that our moon is being nibbled away. Off blast one strong, silent, furry hero—“Meow”—and a stowaway robot to our nearest celestial neighbor to hook up with the imperious Queen of the Moon and head toward the dark side, past challenges from pirates on the Sea of Tranquility and a sphinx with a riddle (“It weighs a ton, but floats on air. / It’s bald but has a lot of hair.” The answer? “Meow”). They endure multiple close but frustratingly glancing encounters with pizza and finally deliver the malign, multiheaded Rat King and its toothy armies to a suitable fate. Cue the massive pizza party! Aside from one pirate captain and a general back on Earth, the human and humanoid cast in Harris’ loosely drawn cartoon panels, from the appropriately moon-faced queen on, is light skinned. Merch, music, and the original episodes are available on an associated website.

Epic lunacy. (Graphic science fiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: May 10, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-06-308408-7

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2022

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We challenge anyone to read this and keep a straight face.

THE BAD GUYS

From the Bad Guys series , Vol. 1

Four misunderstood villains endeavor to turn over a new leaf…or a new rap sheet in Blabey's frenzied romp.

As readers open the first page of this early chapter book, Mr. Wolf is right there to greet them, bemoaning his reputation. "Just because I've got BIG POINTY TEETH and RAZOR-SHARP CLAWS and I occasionally like to dress up like an OLD LADY, that doesn't mean… / … I'm a BAD GUY." To prove this very fact, Mr. Wolf enlists three equally slandered friends into the Good Guys Club: Mr. Snake (aka the Chicken Swallower), Mr. Piranha (aka the Butt Biter), and Mr. Shark (aka Jaws). After some convincing from Mr. Wolf, the foursome sets off determined to un-smirch their names (and reluctantly curbing their appetites). Although these predators find that not everyone is ready to be at the receiving end of their helpful efforts, they use all their Bad Guy know-how to manage a few hilarious good deeds. Blabey has hit the proverbial nail on the head, kissed it full on the mouth, and handed it a stick of Acme dynamite. With illustrations that startle in their manic comedy and deadpan direct address and with a narrative that follows four endearingly sardonic characters trying to push past (sometimes successfully) their fear-causing natures, this book instantly joins the classic ranks of Captain Underpants and The Stinky Cheese Man.

We challenge anyone to read this and keep a straight face. (Fiction. 7-11)

Pub Date: Jan. 3, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-545-91240-2

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2016

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