The author of the Chet Gecko mysteries launches a new series, billed as half comic/half novel-Hugo Cabret, however, this is not, nor, for that matter, is it Captain Underpants. A trio of kids discovers Underwhere, which, as narrator Zeke feels compelled to specify, is "the place, not the tighty-whities. I already know about those." It seems that Zeke, his twin sister and best friend tumble into a "black hole" in a partially constructed house and land in an underground realm, where the zombie-like Undies (who wear their underwear on the outside) proclaim Zeke the "lost prince of Underwhere" and give him a 21-bun salute, then explain that he must "free the land from under the Underlord's cruel butt." The text cedes to a gray-scale graphic novel style whenever the kids descend to Underwhere; the pictures, surprisingly, skimp on humor and try for heavy-duty action. For readers who find wedgies, mooning and the like intrinsically funny, this book is good news; everyone else, stand warned. Ages 8-12. (Jan.)Copyright 2007Reed Business Information
Prince of Underwhere (Underwhere Series #1)by Bruce Hale, Shane Hillman
It's tough to be ZeKe.
He's got his hands full: There is his prissy, know-it-all twin sister; his mean cousin Caitlyn, who's house-sitting for his missing parents; and a bully making life tough at school (as though it wasn't hard enough already). And now, thanks to a stinky, scruffy, good-for-nothing talking cat, he's also got to cope with zombies, midget/p>… See more details below
It's tough to be ZeKe.
He's got his hands full: There is his prissy, know-it-all twin sister; his mean cousin Caitlyn, who's house-sitting for his missing parents; and a bully making life tough at school (as though it wasn't hard enough already). And now, thanks to a stinky, scruffy, good-for-nothing talking cat, he's also got to cope with zombies, midget freedom fighters, devious spies, superstar rappers, and a whole weird world beneath our own where people wear their underwear on the outside of their clothes.
Gr 3-6- Zeke and Stephanie's Great-aunt Zenobia has disappeared, and the family has received a number of her belongings, including an old-fashioned toilet and a letter. As the twins are fighting over who gets to use it for a family-history project, two "agents" appear at their door, investigating unusual happenings in the neighborhood. The kids' cat takes advantage of the open door and escapes with the coveted letter in his mouth. Zeke, Stephanie, and their friend Hector chase Fitz, and all four fall down a hole into the land of Underwhere. Here, the story shifts to graphic novel format as readers meet its residents, who wear their undies on top of their clothes and believe that Zeke is a prince who has come to save them from the Underlord. The remainder of the book is a jumble of bathroom humor and rollicking adventure; the children travel back and forth between home and Underwhere several times, taking on zombies, thunder lizards, and eventually the Underlord, who is disguised as a rap star. A talking cat, a last-minute science project, and those pesky agents complicate the tale. While the mixed format is innovative, characters and objects in the illustrations are sometimes difficult to distinguish. The ending is clearly a setup for the next adventure.-Amanda Moss, Maywood Elementary School, Monona, WI
Meet the Author
Bruce Hale has written and illustrated over thirty-five books for kids, including Clark the Shark; Clark the Shark Dares to Share; the award-winning Chet Gecko Mystery series; Snoring Beauty, one of Oprah’s Recommended Reads for Kids; and the School for S.P.I.E.S. series. In his free time, Bruce enjoys hiking, watching movies, and making music. He lives in Santa Barbara, California, with his wife, dog, and many hats. You can catch him online at www.brucehale.com.
Shane (meowing marvel) Hillman is the illustrator of the Underwhere series as well as the creator of many comic strips on the web and in print. You'll find him ruffling his whiskers and taking many, many baths in Houston, Texas.
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