Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Melonhead and the Big Stink by Katy Kelly, illustrated by Gillian Johnson

Melonhead is back! I fell in love with this character last year, and he's still my favorite guy out there. Melonhead's second adventure is full of his humor, inventiveness, bad luck, and that indefinable "boyness" that made the first story so much fun.

Melonhead has always been prone to disaster, but in this story he's determined to thwart his propensities for inventive destruction. School is out for the summer (really, that chair-walking episode wasn't his fault) and he and his friend Sam have decided there's one thing that will make their summer perfect: a trip to see the Titan Arum, the biggest and stinkiest flower in existence! With some help from friends, they form the Boys' Improvement Guide for Acting Responsible Till Stink Sunday. Armed with good intentions and his ever-growing Remind-o-Rama card of rules from his mom, Melonhead sets out to behave. Unfortunately, this is harder than it looks, especially when you throw wayward balls, cranky old ladies, friendly teenagers, a huge garden competition, and baby ducks into the mix. Can Melonhead make it to the Big Stink?

I just love Melonhead's character. Funny, realistic, enthusiastic, but certainly not a plaster saint! Katy Kelly's characters are so real, I find myself wanting to give Melonhead's mom a huge thwack and tell her to lighten up and enjoy her kid. I want to meet Mrs. Wilkins and rummage through her amazing attic. I found myself as furious as Melonhead when his mom's "betrayal" comes out and desperately hoping he'd make it to the Big Stink after the final collision of catastrophes.

This story is really a little long for a beginning chapter book, but it's not really middle grade fiction and I don't want to add yet another label to my huge list. Hand this to boys (and girls!) who love funny stories, a healthy dose of gross, and need a fun summer read! Perfect for strong younger readers up through twelve-year-olds who will enjoy remembering "when they were kids".

Verdict: I am still in love with Melonhead! Ordered for my library several months ago because I knew it would be good, and it just arrived this week!

ISBN: 0385736584; Published June 2010 by Delacorte; ARC provided by publisher at ALA; Purchased for the library

No comments: