This volume is sure to find an audience.

TALES OF FEARLESS GIRLS

FORGOTTEN STORIES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

This collection of fairy tales from around the world positions girl characters as adventurers.

Nearly every continent is represented here, with stories from Scotland, Spain, Sweden, Nigeria, Lesotho, Iran, Siberia, China, India, Russia, Japan, the Iroquois Nation, and more. Each story is three or four pages long, printed on paper of various attractive colors, with illustrations adorning some text-heavy pages and full-page or double-page–spread illustrations interspersed with others. The main characters are girls who face challenges from natural disasters, from families forcing them into marriages, from supernatural beings that threaten their families, villages, and kingdoms. For various reasons, they go out to save their husbands, to prove their bravery and skill, to escape, or to protect their homes. Like most fairy tales, these stories contain the inexplicable and the limited, such as a young woman who slays a dragon in order to provide her brothers with the fine clothing they demand. Still, compared to the traditional formula of a damsel in distress who is rescued, married, and lives happily ever after, these offer a welcome disruption. The girls and women are clever, courageous, and active, and they shape their own stories, if within the confines of their situations. The pictures add an engaging rest for the eyes, though the illustration of the Chinese characters suffers from racist overtones in the depiction of closed, slanted eyes.

This volume is sure to find an audience. (background, talking points, index) (Fairy tales. 5-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-68010-256-7

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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Only for dedicated fans of the series.

HOW TO CATCH A MONSTER

From the How To Catch… series

When a kid gets the part of the ninja master in the school play, it finally seems to be the right time to tackle the closet monster.

“I spot my monster right away. / He’s practicing his ROAR. / He almost scares me half to death, / but I won’t be scared anymore!” The monster is a large, fluffy poison-green beast with blue hands and feet and face and a fluffy blue-and-green–striped tail. The kid employs a “bag of tricks” to try to catch the monster: in it are a giant wind-up shark, two cans of silly string, and an elaborate cage-and-robot trap. This last works, but with an unexpected result: the monster looks sad. Turns out he was only scaring the boy to wake him up so they could be friends. The monster greets the boy in the usual monster way: he “rips a massive FART!!” that smells like strawberries and lime, and then they go to the monster’s house to meet his parents and play. The final two spreads show the duo getting ready for bed, which is a rather anticlimactic end to what has otherwise been a rambunctious tale. Elkerton’s bright illustrations have a TV-cartoon aesthetic, and his playful beast is never scary. The narrator is depicted with black eyes and hair and pale skin. Wallace’s limping verses are uninspired at best, and the scansion and meter are frequently off.

Only for dedicated fans of the series. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4926-4894-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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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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