Prince of Underwhere (Underwhere Series #1)

Prince of Underwhere (Underwhere Series #1)

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by Bruce Hale, Shane Hillman
     
 

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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

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Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

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.)

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Children's Literature - Joan Elste
There is obviously a lot of talent here in this soon-to-be-a-series book with a twist on the normal chapter book style. The format—combining text with pages of cartoons, thus adding visual images as a break—works well and makes it easier for children to continue reading on. It also bridges reality with fantasy in a clever way that would be interesting to kids. The story begins with Zeke and his three friends, not to mention a talking, ratty looking cat he has to deal with, falling into a hole in a construction site and landing in the underground world of Underwhere. So far so good. But then the story hops back and forth, from one place to the other, adding characters as it goes along to the point of distraction. It can be confusing and way too much to try and keep track of. The reader soon loses any concern about anyone or any thing . Cutting out half the characters and giving more attention to the development of a solid story would have helped and added more intrigue. This book is not on my list of best reads for kids. What is left for a series? Reviewer: Joan Elste
School Library Journal

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

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061850813
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
06/23/2009
Series:
Underwhere Series , #1
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
176
File size:
5 MB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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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