Saturday, June 20, 2009

Review: Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking, and Other Natural Disasters

Summary: Alvin Ho is back, and this time he’s facing his biggest fear: The Great Outdoors.

Alvin Ho is back and his worst fear has come true: he has to go camping. What will he do exposed in the wilderness with bears and darkness and . . . pit toilets? Luckily, he’s got his night-vision goggles and water purifying tablets and super-duper heavy-duty flashlight to keep him safe. And he’s got his dad, too. Lenore Look’s touching, drop-dead-funny chapter book about an Asian-American second grader—with illustrations by New York Times bestselling illustrator LeUyen Pham—is perfect for beginning and reluctant readers alike, and has tons of boy appeal. -- Schwartz and Wade Books

I am so glad that I'm getting to relive my youth through my daughter! Don't take that wrong because I'm not one of those parents....I just love reading books that are geared towards her age range. What I love even more is when we both read the same book and then discuss it! That is the case with ALVIN HO: ALLERGIC TO CAMPING, HIKING, AND OTHER NATURAL DISASTERS by Lenore Look and pictures by LeUyen Pham. I just don't remember there being this many good middle-grade books out there when I was ten years old.

My daughter is probably a little on the older side for this book because it is really aimed for children ages 6 through 10; however, I still think many 10 year olds will enjoy the book as a quick, funny read. Alvin Ho is absolutely hilarious as a young boy who is afraid of almost everything. In this book, his father wants to take him camping and poor Alvin is just terrified of everything that could possibly go wrong. Maybe one of the reason that I liked this book so much is that I can so relate to his feelings about the great outdoors!

This book is really perfect for those kids who are ready to read chapter books, yet aren't quite ready for a book with a lot of pages. This book is a little over 150 pages, but the print is large and there is lots of white space on each page. There are also a few very cute (and funny) illustrations thrown into the body of the chapters. I especially liked that there is a glossary (Alvin Ho's Very Scary Glossary) at the back of the book with definitions of some possibly "new" words.

Kids are going to love Alvin and his adventures. I thought his paranoia was so funny, and I found myself laughing a lot at his insecurities. Even if your child isn't quite ready to read this book on his or her own, it's also a great book to read with your child. This book is being sold as "ideal for any father and son to read together before braving the untamed wilderness. Or, a perfectly manicured trail." Each chapter is just about the perfect length for a bedtime story.

I really thought Alvin Ho was a great character, and I want to go back and read the first novel in the series ALVIN HO: ALLERGIC TO GIRLS, SCHOOLS, AND OTHER SCARY THINGS. If it's anything like this book, I'm sure Booking Daughter and I will both enjoy it! I am looking forward to more Alvin Ho books, and I'm betting that Booking Son is going to love them in a few years.

A big thanks to Random House Kids for sending me an ARC of this book.


bermudaonion said...

Oh my gosh, I'm just like Alvin - I'm allergic to those exact same things! This sounds like such a fun book.

Stephanie said...

Lucky you!! The author lives in my town and I was lucky enough to meet her awhile back - she is a doll!!

Beth F said...

Sounds like a fun book. I loved the outdoors and camping (still do), but I think my niece would have related to this one when she was younger.

This is definitely going on my gift list.

thekoolaidmom said...

I'm thinking Maggie would love this book. She loves all things Asian, and anything funny or silly, is a bonus. When I hit pit toilets in the description, I immediately thought of Maggie's allergy too black toilet seats... or brown... or yellow... basically, any potty that's not white, shiny and indoors!

gaby317 said...

This sounds so funny - I can relate to Alvin.

I can't remember coming across Asian lead characters in books. It's cool to see many more available now.