Rocket and Groot: Stranded on Planet Stripmall

illus. by Tom Angleberger. 224p. Marvel. Mar. 2016. Tr $13.99. ISBN 9781484714522.
Gr 5 Up—"Origami Yoda" series (Abrams) author Angleberger presents a silly tale starring two popular Marvel comic heroes. This slapstick romp is full of potty humor and gags that middle schoolers will love. The book opens as Rocket and Groot become shipwrecked after battling a swarm of giant space piranhas. The only thing that they have left is an artificially intelligent tape dispenser named Veronica, who transcribes their adventures in the form of captain's logs. Veronica also has a Doodle app so the heroes can draw pictures to accompany the text. Desperate to find food, water, and shelter, they land on an unchartered planet full of strip malls. With a succession of scuffles, they find themselves encountering hungry, violent toilets, killer robots, dangerous washing machines with chain-saw arms, sewage monsters, and fantastic homicidal aliens. Readers will be amused by the Guardians of the Nacho Cheeze-themed restaurant. Black-and-white pictures in cartoon style accompany the story. Graphic novel traditionalists may have a hard time with the large amount of text, but fans of both Marvel and funny illustrated novels will be pleased to know that two follow-up installments are planned.
VERDICT Recommended for kids who enjoy highly illustrated novels, laugh-out-loud comics, and extension stories from the Marvel universe.

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