Wednesday, July 28, 2010


by Karla Oceanak
illustrated by Kendra Spanjer
Bailiwick Press, 2010
review copy provided by the publisher

Aldo Zelnick is back with his second sketchbook filled with cartoons, rock-candy words starting with B (amusing illustrated glossary in the back of the book), and a mystery that's worth $1000 to solve: what happened to the ring he thought was bogus, but which has turned out to be quite valuable?

In Artsy-Fartsy, the first book of this alphabetic "comic novel" series (I reviewed it here), we met Aldo, his family and his friends. We found out how Aldo came to be writing and drawing in his sketchbook, and we fell in love with him, even though he's a little bit chubby, a little bit lazy, and he'd rather play video games than do anything else...except eat!

In Bogus, Aldo (somewhat reluctantly and very realistically) learns to put the needs of others before his desire for a giant flat screen TV. In book three, Cahoots, (out later this year) it sounds like Aldo is up for some more character-building when he has to spend time on his cousins' farm with no technology and lots of chores!

My fourth graders last year LOVED Artsy-Fartsy and were disappointed that Bogus would come out after they'd left my class. This new group is going to have two books in the series to devour and a third to look forward to by the end of the year!

Just for fun, you can follow Aldo Zelnick on Twitter: @AldoZelnick.
You can also check out his website:

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