Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sweet Weirdness

Daniel Pinkwater is one of my favorite children's authors. He's nerdy and funny and interested in the oddities of people. His books always take intelligence seriously while also valuing creativity and humor. He writes picture books and easy chapter books and YA books, or just anything he feels like. Sometimes he hits his mark, sometimes he misses, but he's always good for the journey.

The Snarkout Boys and the Baconburg Horror is a bit of a miss. It's a sequel to The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death, and a lot of time is spent revisiting the eccentric characters of that book. Much of the fun of these books is discovering what makes each character interesting, and how these people interact, so sequels aren't Pinkwater's strong point. There was a bit of suspense in the wolfman build-up, but the humor distracts from it. The narrative voice kept changing; I didn't mind the jumps to the wolfman's view because they were short and just a note that he was out there, but otherwise I prefer staying with our viewpoint character. Even the even nemesis seemed muted; he also returned from the previous book. An amusing hour of reading, but definitely not the place to start this author. B-.

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