Ten children chosen from a teeming crew of trading-card characters with personal-hygiene issues shamble into print.
Parodying the Cabbage Patch Kids and subject since the 1980s to various expansions and reboots, the chubby-cheeked characters—all paper white in the monochrome cast list and frequent illustrations—bear suggestive names like Luke Puke, Rob Slob, and Babbling Brooke; exhibit gross and slovenly behavior; and live together in appalling filth. With all this built-in child appeal, who better to present their misadventures in prose than Stine, the creator of the redolent Rotten School series (and one or two others)? Here, Adam Bomb (his head explodes) and five other housemates trade off narrative duties in a set of short-attention-span episodes. These feature an all-booger science project, middle school hijinks (“ ‘Hey, check it out!’ Wacky Jackie called, and held up her clay creation. ‘What is that?’ Mrs. Hooping-Koff asked. Jackie grinned. ‘It’s a body part! Guess what it is?’ ”), an abusive Rent-a-Mom hired to fend off the snoopy neighboring Perfects, and, for occasional diversions, repeated failures of favorite TV superhero Jonny Pantsfalldown to nab butt-crack–flashing supervillain Big Bootus. By the end, the Perfects and the Rent-a-Mom are both sent packing. “But we’re not bad kids,” Adam Bomb explains. “We just don’t know any better.” Maybe young readers will.
Lots of laffs…or at least wet and dry heaves.
(Media tie-in/fiction. 7-10)
Pub Date: yesterday
Page Count: 208
Review Posted Online: Sept. 1, 2020
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020