Proof that a sequel can shine just as brightly.

THE DEN OF FOREVER FROST

From the Bears of the Ice series , Vol. 2

In a race against time, young polar bear cubs travel the icy north searching for a way to rescue their land from an evil cult and save the world from a cataclysm.

Following the events of Quest of the Cubs (2017), young Jytte, Stellan, and Third travel the dangerous wild with only ancient stories and an outdated map as a guide. Chased by Roguer bears collecting cubs to sacrifice to the great Ice Clock, they attempt to find their estranged father and beg his help. Aided by wood frogs, frost spiders, and a mysterious spirit bear, the three cubs face predators, natural disasters, and their own waning beliefs. Meanwhile, their mother, Svenna, enslaved by the Mystress of the Chimes, attempts to work from within to bring down the doomsday cult and find her missing cubs. Violence is minimal, but child abuse, child sacrifice, religious cleansing, and torture are all real threats in the northern kingdom. Calm and calculating Jytte, emotional and passionate Stellan, and deep and mystical Third are all complicated heroes. Pride, depression, and guilt prove to be as difficult to defeat as the cult, but the three cubs bring humility, hope, and forgiveness as they travel. Nonstop action, overwhelming odds, and a truly evil adversary will make readers clamor for the next installment. Occasional double-page–spread art (not seen) acts as a transitional device.

Proof that a sequel can shine just as brightly. (map) (Fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 9, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-545-83688-3

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

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Is this the end? Well, no…the series will stagger on through at least one more scheduled sequel.

CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS AND THE TERRIFYING RETURN OF TIPPY TINKLETROUSERS

From the Captain Underpants series , Vol. 9

Sure signs that the creative wells are running dry at last, the Captain’s ninth, overstuffed outing both recycles a villain (see Book 4) and offers trendy anti-bullying wish fulfillment.

Not that there aren’t pranks and envelope-pushing quips aplenty. To start, in an alternate ending to the previous episode, Principal Krupp ends up in prison (“…a lot like being a student at Jerome Horwitz Elementary School, except that the prison had better funding”). There, he witnesses fellow inmate Tippy Tinkletrousers (aka Professor Poopypants) escape in a giant Robo-Suit (later reduced to time-traveling trousers). The villain sets off after George and Harold, who are in juvie (“not much different from our old school…except that they have library books here.”). Cut to five years previous, in a prequel to the whole series. George and Harold link up in kindergarten to reduce a quartet of vicious bullies to giggling insanity with a relentless series of pranks involving shaving cream, spiders, effeminate spoof text messages and friendship bracelets. Pilkey tucks both topical jokes and bathroom humor into the cartoon art, and ups the narrative’s lexical ante with terms like “pharmaceuticals” and “theatrical flair.” Unfortunately, the bullies’ sad fates force Krupp to resign, so he’s not around to save the Earth from being destroyed later on by Talking Toilets and other invaders…

Is this the end? Well, no…the series will stagger on through at least one more scheduled sequel. (Fantasy. 10-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-545-17534-0

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 20, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2012

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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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