It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s… Captain Underpants! The caped crusader has returned, again, to save the world, again. Even if he doesn’t know it.
Fans will recall that Captain Underpants is actually the dyspeptic school principal Mr. Krupp, who drank superjuice and now turns into a do-gooder at the snap of someone else’s fingers. Mr. Krupp just never remembers anything when he turns back (though he does wonder where all his clothes have got to, since superhero-ing requires only undies and a cape).
In the new Captain Underpants And The Revolting Revenge Of The Radioactive Robo Boxers (the 10th epic novel in the series, by Dav Pilkey, 2013, yellow dot, suggested ages 6 to 9), we discover that an evil genius has changed the past.
But it was an accident, and Tippy Tinkletrousers is no fool. He knows that the future must exist in order for him to take it over and rule the world! So he goes back in time to fix his mess.
Captain Underpants goes too, as do the fingersnappers, Harold and George, who always manage to get their principal switcherooed just in time for the save. In this tome, a time travel chase of Star Trekkian complexity takes place, involving cave people, dinosaurs, and the dawn of the universe. Wowsa.
Captain Underpants is always a crowd-pleaser.
There’s lots more in New Arrivals for kids. Tibere Et Trouscaillon, by Laurent Chabin (2000, yellow dot), introduces the quiet philosopher Tibere, blue with white whiskers and green eyes. Pierrot is his human, one who very much loves the big fat lazy feline.
Tibere ignores the demands of Pierrot’s parents, who want a proper mouser. (Mice, thinks Tibere, are cute and adorable and deserve nothing but happy snores and snuggling.)
And all is well until a very nasty rat moves in, Trouscaillon. It’s up to Tibere to rid the neighbourhood of this vicious fiend. And Tibere does so while maintaining his principles.
This is a fun 60-pager that adults will also enjoy reading to kids.
For something a little wackier and more hectic, there’s Muncle Trogg (by Janet Foxley, 2011, orange dot, suggested age 9 to 12).
Most giants are this tall: T. But Muncle is only this tall: –. He’s really quite bitty; so bitty his brother loves to hold him upside down, and… drop him. Luckily, Muncle’s nimble enough to land on his feet.
And for all his faults Muncle is, at least, pretty: Hairy, warty, big nosed, over-long arms.
Still, because of his size, he might pass as a Smalling – those are the little people with well-proportioned limbs and clear skin who live in the big city down beyond the forest.
The humans pushed the giants into hiding inside a mountain hundreds of years ago, and the giants still live in fear of them.
Nonetheless, Muncle decides to visit the enemy. And his voyage leads to a panic in the land of the giants!
This is a very busy book (lots of pictures!) that’s a fast read.
Here’s one last New Arrival: Freaks, by Kieran Larwood (2012, orange dot), is the story of Sheba the wolf girl, a freak in a sideshow in England in 1851. She shares a shack with a two-headed lamb and a stuffed squirrel-mermaid.
Hey, it’s a living. She’s 10 years old, and happy to be able to eat (every so often).
Sheba and the lamb are soon sold to a London-based freak show owner, and for the first time, ever, she meets and makes friends of the human(ish) kind. There’s cat-ninja Sister Moon, strongman Gigantus, Mama Rat and her little furry darlings, and Monkeyboy, a little guy with a big mouth and stinky airs. Really stinky.
This group of earnest odd balls are asked to find a lost child, and they become wandering gumshoes, accidentally stumbling into a complex plot that they know must be stopped. And in the meantime, Sheba discovers a little bit about herself and her past.
The November chill encourages a snuggle and a book. Happy reading!
Check New Arrivals for these books, as well as the regular shelves. Eventually they all end up in the stacks.
– Eleanor Brown, November 15, 2013