Wednesday, June 13, 2012
by Karla Oceanak
illustrated by Kendra Spanjer
Bailiwick Press, 2012
review copy provided by the publisher
Aldo Zelnick is ESTRANGED from his best friend Jack in this fifth book in the Aldo Zelnick Comic Novel series.
The series is alphabetic, and we're up to the letter E. (My reviews of the other 4 books are here.) Aldo's laziness gets the best of him in this book -- his refusal to put forth enough EFFORT to do well in ESPAÑOL...even to accept Spanish as worth the effort...understandably causes a rift between him and his best friend, Jack, a native Spanish speaker.
I wasn't as patient with Aldo as his parents and his other friends were. I didn't like this completely EGOCENTRIC side of Aldo. But he came through in the end, even sacrificing his Halloween candy, which, if you know Aldo, was a huge sacrifice.
There were lots of fun subplots in this book -- Aldo is reading A WRINKLE IN TIME, and he even makes a "Bacon Boy" (his own original comic character) cartoon retelling of the book. It is raining through most of the book, and Aldo and his friends build dams in the gutters, just like I did when I was a kid. And, because Aldo is doing a report on EINSTEIN and dressing like him for Halloween, there are lots of fun Einstein facts and science EXPERIMENTS woven into the story. (Make sure you don't miss the nod to EDWARD Gorey on the last page of the book!)
Next up in the series are FINICKY (looks like Aldo might need to start eating more healthily) and GLITCH (looks like a take-off on the Grinch).