Lombardo, Constance. Mr. Puffball: Stunt Cat Across America (#2)
September 27th 2016 by HarperCollins
ARC from Young Adult Books Central
Mr. Puffball is tired of endangering life and fur by being a stunt cat, so decides that he and El Gato will do a movie together. Producers are vaguely interested in them to do Mac and Cheesy's Excellent Adventure, but would really rather have the suave, British Benedict Cumbercat and Jude Claw. To prove that they are the better actors to cast, Mr. Puffball and El Gato agree to do a test reel of their adventures across the U.S. They manage to travel from California to Coney Island, eating junk food and having narrow escapes from all manner of humorous situations.
This is an extremely clever book which reframes the history of Hollywood in cat terms. From Purramount Studios to Director DeMew, there are countless references and jokes to film culture, both old and knew. Does Benedict Cumberbatch know how he has been immortalized?
The places that Mr. Puffball and his crew visit across the U.S. will give readers who have not had a chance to travel a good introduction to some of the scenic and historical sites of interest in our country. Of course, Mr. Puffball's antics in those places are the real fun.
Notebook novels continue to be popular, and there are even a number of them that involve cats: Watson's Stick Cat, Myracle's Fashion Kitty, and Surovec's My Pet Human (not to mention the graphic novel versions of Hunter's Warriors books). Mr. Puffball is a great addition to this list of books to keep cartoon loving cat fans happy.
The first book in this series was WAY more popular than I thought it would be. The students just don't get the jokes, which is a shame.
Stilton, Geronimo. The Famouse Fjord Race (Geronimo Stilton Micekings #2)
July 26th 2016 by Scholastic Paperbacks
Copy provided by Young Adult Books Central
Geronimo dreams of getting his very own mouseking helmet, the highest reward a mouseking can receive, but since he is a lowly village scholar, his chances of winning one are slim. There is a big drakar sailing competition, and Geronimo gets dragged onto the boat against his will. He gets terribly seasick! There is his family honor to uphold, the lovely Thora to impress, and a finnbrew theft mystery to solve. On top of all of that, there is salted cod fish ice cream to be consumed! Whether he wants it or not, the mild-mannered Geronimo is off for an adventure on the high seas!
With full-color illustrations and bold, fun font, Geronimo is a popular choice with readers who like goofy, unlikely stories. Frequent mention of gross food and a wide array of creative interjections ("Fjords and fiddlesticks!" "Great groaning glaciers!") will keep youngsters laughing until the very last page.
Hand this to fans of Dav Pilkey, Jarret J. Krosockza, and Matt and Jenny Holms, but keep a list handy-- there are so many Geronimo Stilton books and your readers might want to catch them all!
I just file these under "things I don't understand"-- I find them difficult to read, and weirdly politically incorrect at times. The Italians must have a different sensibility about things. I have two struggling readers who adore these so much that I try to keep them supplied.