Saturday, September 21, 2013
Every Saturday, I host a feature called Kid Konnection -- a regular weekend feature about anything related to children's books. This week, I'm going to share with you my thoughts about the first book in a new middle grade series.
Danny Cohen and Calvin Waffle are two very different kids. Danny likes playing baseball; Calvin enjoys strange experiments. Danny follows the rules at school; Calvin tries to drive his teacher crazy.
Danny and Calvin decide to team up for the big jelly bean experiment. Will it lead to trouble? Maybe. Will they have fun trying? You can count on it. -- Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
When I was at this year's BEA, I spent some time with a Sourcebooks' publicist for children's books. One that she was very excited about was DANNY'S DOODLES: THE JELLY BEAN EXPERIMENT by David A. Adler. And honestly, I was looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of this middle grade book too. It's a graphic novel that will appeal to all types of readers (even reluctant ones) and it's written and illustrated by the author of the Cam Jansen mysteries!
DANNY'S DOODLES: THE JELLY BEAN EXPERIMENT is written (and doodled on) by Danny, a fourth grade boy who has just noticed that the new kid in school, Calvin, is keeping a very close eye on him. Danny loves baseball and seems pretty normal. Calvin, on the other hand, is a little different. He likes science experiments and he also likes challenging his teacher.
One day, Calvin convinces Danny to conduct a jelly bean experiment with him. Danny isn't sure he understands what Calvin's trying to prove by having him carry jelly beans around, and he's pretty sure Calvin is "100% weird." However, Danny learns to appreciate his new friend when Calvin helps the baseball team win the big game!
DANNY'S DOODLES: THE JELLY BEAN EXPERIMENT is a very cute book. Booking Son isn't a big fan of fiction, but I think even he will enjoy this story. The book is under 100 pages with easy-to-read words and many cute doodles. (You can interpret that to mean that it's not intimidating in the least to reluctant readers.) It also includes some very funny situations along with some interesting characters that make the story entertaining and fun to read.
Danny and especially Calvin are fantastic characters. I love Calvin's quirkiness and he definitely kept me guessing with what he was going to do next. I also enjoyed Danny's interpretation and reactions to Calvin's behavior. His comments about Calvin even sounded like what a fourth grade boy would say.
This book is obviously the first in a new series. In fact, the reader gets a little sneak preview of the next novel THE DONUT DILEMMA at the back of this one. I do think these books will have widespread appeal to middle elementary age kids. The blend of humor and unique characters, along with the theme of friendship, make it a winner for both boys and girls.
Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this book.
If you'd like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children's books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, please leave a comment as well as a link below with your name/blog name and the title of the book! Feel free to grab the little button too!