Billy Stuart and the Zintrepids
illus. by Sampar. 160p. Orca. Sept. 2018. pap. $9.95. ISBN 9781459818378.
Gr 2–5—Billy Stuart, a raccoon, is the grandson of globe-trotting adventurer extraordinaire Virgil Stuart, who has found a secret passageway to time travel. In this first book in the series, packed with riddles, saucy sidebars, mini-comics, and illustrations, Billy ventures to Belcher's Cavern with his fellow scouts, the Zintrepids—including a fox, skunk, weasel, and chameleon—to see his relative off on the biggest adventure of his life. Billy and his friends brave the great outdoors—black bears, thunderstorms, a flood, dead ends, stalactites, and a daemon-bat—to bid farewell to Virgil. Following his clues and cave markings, the friends just miss Grandpa, but inadvertently embark on an exploit of their own. "Troop, we are…elsewhere. Where and when? I don't know. But under our feet, there is a whole new world to discover." Readers will impatiently await future titles to see where the Zintrepids land next.
VERDICT Jon Scieszka's "Time Warp Trio" meets "Geronimo Stilton" in this full-color hybrid, which should appeal to reluctant readers and avid readers alike.

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