Keller, Laurie. The Spinny Icky Showdown (Adventures of Arnie the Doughnut #3)
November 3rd 2015 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline
Arnie and his friend Peezo (the talking piece of pizza) are very excited when the Spinny Icky Showdown game show is coming to Yummy Valley. They apply to be one of the teams (The Dough Brothers) and can't wait to compete. All of the games in the televised competition have "ick" in the titles, so Arnie and Peezo end up doing things like picking up nICKels with chopstICKs while wearing knICKers. The two also solve a very mild mystery concerning the host's wig, but the big concern is battling the pumped-up pumpernickel bread of whom Peezo is afraid. Can the Dough Brothers defeat the Pumpernator, who is also a very sore loser?
Strengths: This is one of those series where the humor appeals to both children and adults. Is it silly? Absolutely. The first book in the series is actually a picture book, but this is a very low lever chapter book that 6th graders can read in a day. I've even given them to 8th graders who are being forced to read Lord of the Flies and need a break. A must for an elementary library, and a lot of fun for the rest of us.
Weaknesses: Paper-over-boards binding makes this something I may have to replace soon. Also, Some day I'm sure I will get in trouble for handing "baby books" to middle school students, and I have it on good authority that I am not allowed to slap people who have that opinion!
What I really think: I don't know what inspired Keller to create this series-- I'm imagining sleepless nights and some over caffeination! What it was, I'm grateful.
Lowery, Mark. The Jam Doughnut that Ruined My Life
September 3rd 2015 by Piccadilly Press
E ARC from Netgalley.com
I really, really wanted to like this, but I got about as far as a pot of "toddler wee" being poured on the main character in a science museum, and I realized that it was just too British for my group. It's also only in paperback. Sigh. Take a look if you have a jam doughnut obsession!
'A jam-fuelled week of disaster is set in motion by a single doughnut. Roman Garstang is obsessed with food - particularly Squidgy Splodge raspberry-jam doughnuts - but he is about to learn that things are not always as sugar-coated as they might seem. Because of his Monday-morning jam doughnut, Roman's week takes a very sticky turn ...By Friday Roman has been banned from eating for 24hrs, narrowly avoided a faceful of warm toddler-wee, accidentally shoplifted, been given a lift in a getaway van, styled his teacher's guinea pig with a blue mohawk, started an OAP riot ...and still barely managed to scoff a crumb - or lick - of a single doughnut. Who knew jam could be so deadly?'