Sunday, July 18, 2010

Melonhead and the Big Stink by Katy Kelly


Have you ever wanted to do something so badly that you'll make sacrifices to get it? I'm sure it wasn't because you wanted to go see the Titan Arum "Bunga Bangkai" plant...

This book is amusing, full of silly antics, humor and typical young boy traits. It was released on June 8,2010 and is available in your local bookstore. My copy was provided by Knopf Delacorte Dell Young Readers Group, which is a division of Random House Children's Books. It's written for ages 8-12 and is especially suitable for boys. It is illustrated by Gillian Johnson.

Melonhead and his best friend Sam like to play and have fun, but for some reason they always seem to get in trouble. Melonhead's mother even gives him a list of things he's NOT to do again - and she keeps adding to it!

Ms. Kelly does a good job of presenting realistic children in life situations we're all familiar with. Her writing has a good flow and there is enough going on to keep young readers reading. She also has a few life lessons in the story about older folks living alone and how the young and the old can learn things from each other.

The central point in this story is that Melonhead and Sam want to go to New York City to see this plant that is twelve feet tall, weights a hundred pounds, and smells like dead mammals - plus rot, plus spoiled food. It only blooms once every seven years, so they HAVE to go now. And they try to make it possible by buttering up Melonhead's father. How most of their ideas for being good and considerate and kind go wrong makes for good reading.

Middle-grade readers should really enjoy this one. I found it a fun read!

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