Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Lost in Bermooda by Mike Litwin

I was hopeful about this book; Albert Whitman generally does really well with beginning chapter books and the cover and premise sounded cute. However, it really did not meet my expectations.

Chuck Porter, a calf on Bermooda, doesn't have any friends because he's so obsessed with adventure and exploration and what's out there beyond Bermooda. Maybe someday he'll even meet a hu'man! When he does, a shipwrecked boy named Dakota, he's amazed to find that they actually have a lot in common and he's made his first friend. Nevertheless, he tries to help Dakota to get back to his family, but nothing works out. Then, in the midst of a big storm, it looks like the hu'mans are invading! What's really going on and will Dakota and Chuck be able to handle it?

This plot sounds ok, but in practice it...really doesn't work. Chuck and Dakota are dumped down in the story with so little character development I couldn't keep them apart and had to keep looking back to see which one was the cow and which was the boy. Despite repeated mentions of how surprise Dakota is that nobody sees through his lame cow disguise...nobody ever does. The story really goes haywire when it suddenly turns into....I'm not even sure what it is, but basically the wealthiest cow who owns most of the island tries to play on the cows' fears to take over. But it's never explained how his family got to be so wealthy and influential, since the cows were all shipwrecked there in the beginning. There are gaping plot holes all over this, way too many even for a beginning chapter book. On top of that, here and there, there is...cow dialect? I'm not even sure what it is supposed to be, but it just to me. It's possible at that point that I was just reacting to my overall dislike of the book though.

Verdict: The illustrations really are cute and I think quite a few kids would pick up the book based on the cover, but very few will finish it and not without being disappointed. Not recommended.

ISBN: 9780807587188; Published 2014 by Mike Litwin; Borrowed from another library in my consortium

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