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With a cast of characters who prefer tricks to treats, R.L. Stine kicks off the paper-over-board Rotten School series: #1 The Big Blueberry Barf-Off! and #2 The Great Smelling Bee, illus. by Trip Park (see Children's Audio below). Park's madcap cartoons of freckle-face, bespectacled narrator Bernie Bridges (aka "Big B") and his buds Belzer, Feenman and Crench combined with Stine's wacky dialogue result in a kind of Fat Albert dynamics that will make kids want to visit this boarding school again and again. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Gr 3-5-This second installment in the series will suit those who find merriment in bodily functions run amok. A promising preface presents befuddled Headmaster Upchuck's morning announcements, which cover the Armpit Band tryouts, a tattoo exhibition, and an explanation of a poster misprint regarding the school's spelling bee. However, the quirky charm disappears with the know-it-all narration of Bernie Bridges. The story relies on the basest of humor via Gassy, a dog with gastrointestinal problems and an affinity for Mrs. Heinie's leg, and Lippy the parrot, who squawks "BEAK me! Eat birdseed and DIE!" The fourth-grade boys at this boarding school pull mean tricks, tattle, and easily dupe both faculty and fellow students. Park's cartoon drawings in each chapter, as well as a pull-out sticker sheet, lend a MAD Magazine element that will please the intended audience who may be satisfied by this minnow of a plot awash with repetitive gross humor.-Gay Lynn Van Vleck, Henrico County Library, Glen Allen, VA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.