Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Adventures of Arnie the Doughnut: Bowling Alley Bandit by Laurie Keller

I will make a confession: I am not a fan of Laurie Keller. I just don't get her art style and I've never been a fan of her brand of humor. However, I know that kids love, love, love Arnie the Doughnut and her other books. I even had a parent the other day tell me how much she loved the movie "I didn't know there was a book!" Um, yeah, there is. So, despite my personal feelings, when I saw that Arnie was moving into chapter-dom, I picked up a galley to preview.

After his many adventures, Arnie is settling down to belonging to Mr. Bing and being his doughnut-dog. One of Mr. Bing's favorite things to do is go bowling and naturally, Arnie goes along. There's always plenty going on at the bowling alley, but it's especially intense when there's a competition going on. Will Mr. Bing, with the help of Arnie's magic sprinkles, win the day? Or will he be sabotaged by a mysterious ill-wisher? Can Arnie find out what's going on?

The art in this galley is black and white, but I'm not sure if the final edition will be color or not. Honestly, it doesn't really matter. Although it's not to my personal taste, I can perfectly see why kids love Keller and this chapter book will pick up many more fans for this wacky author. Small chunks of text are interspersed with illustrations, speech bubbles, panels, and text in odd fonts and layouts. You'd think that a bowling tournament would be pretty boring, but Keller's silly humor and Arnie's unintentional funnies - like expecting all inanimate objects to talk back to him - make it laugh-out-loud funny.

Verdict: Whether you have Arnie fans or not, quite a few kids will find this easy chapter book a hoot and will be glad to recommend it to their friends and wait eagerly for the sequels. Recommended.

ISBN: 9780805090765; Published June 2013 by Henry Holt/Macmillan; ARC provided by the publisher at ALA Midwinter 2013; Purchased for the library

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