It’s enough better than the first to give some hope for the next 10 books.


From the Star Darlings series , Vol. 2

Immediately following (and published simultaneously with) Sage and the Journey to Wishworld (2015), people-pleasing Star Darling Libby travels to the Wishworld to grant a wish during student-council elections.

After 12 character profiles, an introduction explaining wish mechanics, and a prologue summarizing the series’ opener, Star Darling Libby and her roommate (Star Darling Gemma) receive mysterious flowers that smell different to each person and have minor roommate conflicts. Other Star Darlings are also having minor roommate troubles, but that storyline and the mysterious-flower one (and yet another subplot, about forming a rock band) are left mostly unresolved when Libby is selected for the next mission. She travels to the Wishworld, where two best friends are running against each other to be president of the student council. Libby quickly identifies one as the wisher and assumes her wish is to win the election. Teaming up with Ava’s very serious campaign manager, Libby helps with the election and also attempts to fulfill every passing wish that Ava says aloud. The humor is far stronger on Wishworld than at Starling Academy. In addition to fish-out-of-water jokes, there are numerous silly campaign-slogan puns and, in the funniest moment, a faked phone call that Libby inflicts on a very confused stranger. This book closely follows the formula of the first’s resolution but then ends on quite the cliffhanger.

It’s enough better than the first to give some hope for the next 10 books. (Fantasy. 7-11)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4231-7766-1

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Disney Press

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2015

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


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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Dizzyingly silly.


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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