It's tough to be Zeke.
He's got his hands full with his prissy, know-it-all sister; his mean cousin Caitlyn, who's house-sitting for his missing parents; and a bully making life tough at school. 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.
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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March 02, 2009
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