WARRIORS

THE NEW PROPHECY #3: DAWN

The plight of the four cat Clans becomes desperate in this third installment of a series with good plotting but cloying diction. Twolegs (humans) and their monsters (bulldozers) are destroying the woods and moors where the Clans live. The Twolegs fell oaks, capture and cage any cats they get their hands on and rip ShadowClan’s den right out of the ground. Prey is dangerously scarce. There’s been a message from StarClan (ancestor gods) about the Clans striking out for new territory. But where and when? Should the Clans travel together or remain rivals? Hunter intersperses action sequences with stretches of plot-appropriate waiting, during which the cats are hungry and anxious. Religion and conflicting loyalties are well-integrated themes. “Meowed” and “mewed” (replacing “said”) and the twee term “kittypet” lower the narrative’s dignity, while the cats’ annoyingly similar names (Leafpaw, Squirrelpaw, Brambleclaw) run together. However, a current of warmth runs underneath the distractingly precious prose, making the cats easy to care about. (name chart, maps) (Fantasy. 8-11)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-06-074455-3

Page Count: 352

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2005

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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

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Friends of these pollinators will be best served elsewhere.

1001 BEES

This book is buzzing with trivia.

Follow a swarm of bees as they leave a beekeeper’s apiary in search of a new home. As the scout bees traverse the fields, readers are provided with a potpourri of facts and statements about bees. The information is scattered—much like the scout bees—and as a result, both the nominal plot and informational content are tissue-thin. There are some interesting facts throughout the book, but many pieces of trivia are too, well trivial, to prove useful. For example, as the bees travel, readers learn that “onion flowers are round and fluffy” and “fennel is a plant that is used in cooking.” Other facts are oversimplified and as a result are not accurate. For example, monofloral honey is defined as “made by bees who visit just one kind of flower” with no acknowledgment of the fact that bees may range widely, and swarm activity is described as a springtime event, when it can also occur in summer and early fall. The information in the book, such as species identification and measurement units, is directed toward British readers. The flat, thin-lined artwork does little to enhance the story, but an “I spy” game challenging readers to find a specific bee throughout is amusing.

Friends of these pollinators will be best served elsewhere. (Informational picture book. 8-10)

Pub Date: May 18, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-500-65265-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2021

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