Friday, May 4, 2012

School! Adventures at the Harvey N. Trouble Elementary School

School! Adventures at the Harvey N. Trouble Elementary School
Kate McMullan, illustrated by George Booth
Feiwel & Friends, 2010
$12.99, Hardcover
March 4th, 2012

Genre: Humor
Age: 6+
Description: Describes a week in the school life of Ron Faster. Each day pretty much goes the same way—the bus gets stuck in a ditch, the school secretary gives the kids late passes, their teacher is gone because of a pet emergency so they have a sub, the lunch ladies serve beans and weenies, the janitors quit, and Ron goes home and tells his parents about his day.
Opinion: I’m not really sure what to make of this book. The format seems very youngish—short sentences that are spread out with a gazillion small pictures to the point of almost appearing as a Rebus reader (for example every time a character’s name is used the same picture of the character is shown), yet as the front cover states this book is very “punny”—something that I am not sure kids this book is aimed at will get with character names like Luke Out, Miss Ingashoe, Dewey Haveto, Adam Up, Mr. Ivan Stuckinaditch, Gladys Friday, Roxanne Pebbles, Ms. Doremi Fasollatido, and so on. It’s a cute concept but all the characters’ punny names take it a little too far and the characters’ pictures are really, really ugly and not pleasant to look at. The constant five-day repetitiveness gets old after the first two days (chapters). It’s worth a try to give this to Wimpy Kid fans looking for a similar illustrated novel but it will lack the substance that Wimpy Kid fans will be looking for.

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