Let it be said: kids have a knack for getting themselves into some sticky situations. That has been the stuff of countless tales, at least so far back as kid’s literature was first invented (or even attempted). Authors who’ve played in that universe know far better than most the need for a boundless imagination … for only by utilizing one (a vast creativity) can you complete in the many worlds possible inside a child’s mind. Be it ‘Oz’ or ‘Narnia,’ children crave adventure, and that’s why I leave it to the works of storytellers like Jeff Rivera to deliver it. (NOTE: The following review may contain minor spoilers necessary solely for the discussion of plot and characters. If you’re the kind of reader who prefers a review entirely spoiler-free, then I’d encourage you to skip down to the last two paragraphs for my final assessment. If, however, you’re accepting of a few hints at ‘things to come,’ then read on …) Even after doing it before … even after knowing what consequences it would bring … Falisha Whiskers just couldn’t help herself. When her mother wasn’t looking, she (again) did the unthinkable and flushed her little brother Jesse down the toilet, back into the Kingdom of Yuck. Once more, mom demands the unimaginable: (paraphrased) “You get right down there, Falisha Whiskers, and you bring your brother back!” Of course, Falisha does, but what makes this adventure just a bit more winning than the first (which is also a hearty delight) is that Rivera has delivered his heroine a nemesis for her to confront: the Toilet Paper King awaits, and he’s liable to take none too kindly to the incursion of his stinky empire. Like the first, Rivera weaves his prose in light-hearted sing-song fashion, making this the kind of story adults enjoy reading to their young’uns (and even their young-at-hearts). It’s never intended to be taken seriously; rather, this is a bed-time adventure – the kind where you know good will triumph over a gooey, ooey evil – and it even instills a modest sense of knowing rivalry between the featured siblings, not all that unlike the relationship I grew up in a house with two sisters (one on each side of me). Plus, it underscores family values – (paraphrased) “you take care of your brother, Falisha” – and that’s never too shabby. Well … sure … she PUT Jesse in a bit of swirly, churly treachery, but – after all – what’s a good li’l girl to do? Illustrations by Danko Hererra mirror the work done from the original toilet trip. Everything appears simply drawn and rendered in dark, earthy colors, mostly given the nature of the kingdom. Still, there’s some inspired lunacy (Dr. Suess by way of Tim Burton) when depicting the creatures who populate the Kingdom of Yuck, and no doubt kids everywhere will enjoy this trip where no man has gone before … well, except maybe the plumber. UM … MOMMY, I THINK I FLUSHED MY BROTHER DOWN THE TOILET (AGAIN): RETURN TO YUCK KINGDOM is published by Amazon Digital Services, Inc. and is presently only available as an e-book. It can currently be purchased through Amazon for the retail price of $.99, a bargain by any estimation. (For the record, I read mine on my PC, and it looked terrific.) HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. I’ve never been a connoisseur of children’s literature. Never having had one in my house (a child, that is, except myself), I was a bit skeptical when approached by Mr. Rivera. However, after having read a handful of reviews, I agreed to take on the task. They’re a ‘jazz’ (or maybe a ‘gas’ is the better descriptive term?!?!) – a harmless and inventive yarn I’d imagine any child would enjoy as a bedtime story, an easy distraction while enjoying a few moments with family. Personally, I hope he continues his ‘Kingdom of Yuck’ series for as long as he has the inspiration. I’ve no doubt there’s more territory to be covered … well, maybe until mom tires of Falisha’s antics and carts her off to a detention home … but that’s probably the way it would go if Oliver Stone were telling the tale. In the interests of fairness, I’m pleased to disclose that the author, Jeff Rivera, provided me with a digital copy of UM … MOMMY, I THINK I FLUSHED MY BROTHER DOWN THE TOILET (AGAIN): RETURN TO YUCK KINGDOM for the expressed purpose of completing this review.
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