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Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2011
Material: hard cover
Summary: For Mr. Piffle's history class, Danvers Blickensderfer presents a report about his hero - The Great Gonzo. Yes, *that* Gonzo (of Muppet fame). Then came the great finale, though it was more like the final straw when Mr. Piffle made him sit through the rest of class wearing the remnants of his Gonzo-like egg-balancing act.! What could be worse than sitting in class with egg on your face? Well, for Danvers, it was a muppetmorphosis. Felt face and flip-top mouth - the face of the new Danvers. When the rest of the muppets roll into town, the race is on to create the most spectacular event at the Fall on Ice Festival and get the old Danvers back. This is an illustrated chapter book similar to Big Nate and Diary of a Wimpy Kid.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, independent reading, read aloud book, illustrated chapter, reluctant reader, remedial reader
Recommended Age: read together: 9 to 12; read yourself: 10 to 12
Interest Level: 9 to 12
Reading Level: 4.3
Age of Child: Read by a 9-year-old girl.
Young Reader Reaction: We would periodically hear giggling from our daughter's bedroom. She loves Statler, Waldorf, and their corny jokes.
Adult Reader Reaction: The story is clever and fun for a while. The humor and wordplay is very much like watching a Muppet movie, but it seemed to get stale about halfway through. In our copy, there were pages with very faint images and text. Hopefully that is just a printer error, because otherwise it is really annoying and hard to read.
Pros: Clever wordplay, plenty of physical humor, and everyone's favorite Muppets come together in this stylized middle grade novel. The book is part story, part graphic novel.
Cons: Some of the humor may be lost on younger readers. Trying to explain it won't help.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. Fans of the Muppets will probably like the book. If you don't already know about the Muppets and their personalities, this is a good primer.
Educational Themes: This is a book to be read for fun. There is a subplot with the members of a school rock band (Emo Shun), but there isn't enough to build from.
Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.