THE GIGGLER TREATMENT

Beware, all grown-ups who are contemplating being mean to a child. Do so at your peril. Pay no heed to this warning and you’ll be in for . . . the Giggler Treatment! In this funny, very silly, and very gross story for middle graders, Booker-winning Irish author Doyle (for adults, A Star Called Henry, 1999, etc.) proposes that dog poo—a word he deeply enjoys using and describing—lays around for the punishment of adults who are unkind to kids. The Gigglers, color-changing, elf-like creatures, have, since the beginning of time, paid dogs (or other animals) for their droppings and left the stuff around so that unsuspecting, mean adults might step in it. Mr. Mack, the intended victim here, is about to be “treated” on his way to the train station because he sent his two sons to bed without dinner the night before. In painstaking detail, readers are given a running countdown of how many minutes and inches are left before Mr. Mack’s foot hits its mark. At the last moment, though, when the boys explain away their father’s behavior, the whole Mack clan, the Gigglers, and Rover, the dog who anted up, give wild chase to the station, via Egypt and Paris, to prevent the disaster from happening. Piled with words that denote a variety of body functions and wastes, this ludicrous book should more than please the most fervent among the gross-out set. Wait till they see what passes for chapters here, too: one’s named for the author’s mother (so that he could stay up late) and another, for his refrigerator. Includes an exquisitely wacky glossary. (Fiction. 7-11)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-439-16299-8

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2000

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Simple, bella, un regalo permenente: simple and beautiful, a gift that will stay.

HOW TÍA LOLA CAME TO (VISIT) STAY

From the Tía Lola Stories series , Vol. 1

Renowned Latin American writer Alvarez has created another story about cultural identity, but this time the primary character is 11-year-old Miguel Guzmán. 

When Tía Lola arrives to help the family, Miguel and his hermana, Juanita, have just moved from New York City to Vermont with their recently divorced mother. The last thing Miguel wants, as he's trying to fit into a predominantly white community, is a flamboyant aunt who doesn't speak a word of English. Tía Lola, however, knows a language that defies words; she quickly charms and befriends all the neighbors. She can also cook exotic food, dance (anywhere, anytime), plan fun parties, and tell enchanting stories. Eventually, Tía Lola and the children swap English and Spanish ejercicios, but the true lesson is "mutual understanding." Peppered with Spanish words and phrases, Alvarez makes the reader as much a part of the "language" lessons as the characters. This story seamlessly weaves two culturaswhile letting each remain intact, just as Miguel is learning to do with his own life. Like all good stories, this one incorporates a lesson just subtle enough that readers will forget they're being taught, but in the end will understand themselves, and others, a little better, regardless of la lengua nativa—the mother tongue.

Simple, bella, un regalo permenente: simple and beautiful, a gift that will stay. (Fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: March 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-375-80215-0

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2001

Did you like this book?

An uncomplicated opener, with some funny bits and a clear but not heavy agenda.

BOOKMARKS ARE PEOPLE TOO!

From the Here's Hank series , Vol. 1

Hank Zipzer, poster boy for dyslexic middle graders everywhere, stars in a new prequel series highlighting second-grade trials and triumphs.

Hank’s hopes of playing Aqua Fly, a comic-book character, in the upcoming class play founder when, despite plenty of coaching and preparation, he freezes up during tryouts. He is not particularly comforted when his sympathetic teacher adds a nonspeaking role as a bookmark to the play just for him. Following the pattern laid down in his previous appearances as an older child, he gets plenty of help and support from understanding friends (including Ashley Wong, a new apartment-house neighbor). He even manages to turn lemons into lemonade with a quick bit of improv when Nick “the Tick” McKelty, the sneering classmate who took his preferred role, blanks on his lines during the performance. As the aforementioned bully not only chokes in the clutch and gets a demeaning nickname, but is fat, boastful and eats like a pig, the authors’ sensitivity is rather one-sided. Still, Hank has a winning way of bouncing back from adversity, and like the frequent black-and-white line-and-wash drawings, the typeface is designed with easy legibility in mind.

An uncomplicated opener, with some funny bits and a clear but not heavy agenda. (Fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: Feb. 14, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-448-48239-2

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: Dec. 11, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

more