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Calvin Coconut in trouble magnet

by Graham Salisbury


Syndetic Solutions - [Book Review for 9780385737012]

Book Review

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Publishers Weekly :

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Salisbury (Night of the Howling Dogs) brings the Hawaiian locale and boy-centric vibe of his novels to a younger audience in this kicky start to a middle-grade series. For four years, Cal has been the man of the house, standing in for his absentee dad, the famous crooner Little Johnny Coconut (who saddled the family with its stage-ready surname). But things get topsy-turvy when a surly teenage family friend arrives to be a live-in babysitter for Cal and his little sister, and Cal makes some missteps in the first days of school in Mr. Purdy's Fourth-Grade Boot Camp, which include a lost centipede and a class food fight. Salisbury uses humor and lots of action to guide Cal as he deals with a neighborhood bully, his new teacher and the upheaval in his home life. Fun details of Hawaiian life, including descriptions of snack foods, beach pursuits and the characters' melting pot of heritages bring the setting to life. The tone is realistic, warm and light as an island breeze—perfect for luring newly confident chapter-book readers. Ages 7–10. (Mar.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

distributed by Syndetic Solutions, LLC.:
Syndetic Solutions - [Book Review for 9780385737012]

Book Review

:

School Library Journal :

Terms of Use:

Gr 2–4—In the first installment of a planned series, readers meet nine-year-old Calvin, whose singing-star father changed their last name from Novio to Coconut before leaving the family four years earlier. In Mr. Purdy's fourth-grade class in Kailua, HI, Calvin's year is off to a bad start when he accidentally lets loose his new pet centipede, forgets to pick up his little sister after school, and incurs the ire of middle-school bullies Tito and Frank. At home, he's got to give up his room to Stella, the blond, beautiful but surly teenaged daughter of his mother's friend who's come from Texas to stay for a while. He gets off on the wrong foot with her, too, when he forgets to fix the lock on the bedroom door, necessitating a window escape. Humor, lots of local color, and richly varied cultural details abound in this accessible, fun read, and a map of the town and sketches throughout help bring readers into Calvin's world. (It does seem odd, though, that Calvin's mother would go shopping while her new guest is locked in the bedroom.) While light on character development and more episodic than plot-driven, this title will be enjoyed by readers venturing into chapter books, and it lays the groundwork nicely for the titles to come.—Marie Orlando, formerly at Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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